Former Sony CEO Nobuyuki Idei, who led company’s digital push, dies at 84
Sony Group Corp. said on Tuesday that Nobuyuki Idei, its former chairman and chief executive who led the Japanese giant’s push into the digital networking business, died of liver failure. He was 84 years old.
In addition to strengthening Sony’s presence in digital and communications, he also focused on the entertainment sector, such as movies, music and game consoles, laying the foundation for its current operations.
He died last Thursday in a Tokyo hospital.
File photo shows Nobuyuki Idei, former chairman and CEO of Sony Corp., speaking during an interview in Tokyo in November 2010. (Kyodo)
Idei joined Sony in 1960, becoming chairman in 1995 and CEO in 1998. He served as both chairman and chief executive from 2000 to 2005.
He resigned as chairman and CEO amid lackluster sales at his home appliance business, making headlines for appointing Howard Stringer as his successor at a time when it was still rare for a Japanese company to be run by a non-Japanese CEO.
Idei has also contributed to the advancement of the Internet environment in Japan, having been appointed head of the government’s IT strategy council in 2000.
“He laid the foundation for Japan’s broadband network,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said of Idei at a press conference.
“These founding notions have been carried over into the current administration’s digital policies.”
Under Idei’s tenure as CEO, the conglomerate launched its Vaio-branded personal computers and national Internet service provider So-net. She has also ventured into online banking and the non-life insurance sector.
But after its earlier success with sales of bulky CRT televisions, Sony was slow to switch to flat screens and was overtaken by intense competition from South Korean manufacturers and other foreign rivals.
The company’s shares plunged in 2003 into what was called the “Sony Shock”, and slow growth for much of the next decade led Sony to focus on corporate restructuring initiatives .
After leaving Sony, Idei continued to be involved in the business sector. In 2006, he participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as Vice President of the Japan Business Federation, also known as Keidanren.
“During his seven years as CEO from 1998, Mr. Idei made immense contributions to Sony’s evolution as a global company,” Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said in a statement. a statement.
“In particular, the foresight and foresight with which he predicted the impact of the internet and proactively engaged in digitalization at Sony still amazes me today,” he added.
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