Jack Schmuckli Retires from Sony Europe
Tokyo, Japan, and Cologne, Germany - Sony Corporation and Sony Europe today jointly announced that Jack J. Schmuckli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Europe, will retire from Sony at the end of December. Mr. Schmuckli leaves Sony after serving 24 years in executive positions at Sony Deutschland and Sony Europe.
Jack Schmuckli joined Sony in 1975 as President of Sony Deutschland GmbH, the first non-Japanese person to head up a Sony sales company abroad. Having achieved tremendous sales growth, from 70 million DM in 1975 to 700 million in 1985, Mr. Schmuckli was named Chairman of Sony's European Operations Committee in 1985. A year later, he was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of European Operations. Mr. Schmuckli became the first European member of the Sony Corporation Board of Directors in 1989.
Commenting on today's announcement, Sony Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Norio Ohga said, "Jack's career with Sony marks significant achievements and milestones in the growth of our European operations. Under our philosophy of 'Global Localization,' and in time of rapid expansion that includes the opening of the East in 1990, Jack built our consumer electronics operations to their current structure. He also played an important role in our decision to build the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin and move Sony's European headquarters there in 1999. I would like to thank Jack for his outstanding contribution to Sony over the years and wish him well in the future."
Sony Corporation President and Co-Chief Executive Officer Nobuyuki Idei added, "Under Jack's direction, our sales in Europe have grown from less than 2 billion DM to 15 billion, and Sony today is a leader in the European consumer electronics market. Throughout his period at Sony, Jack has demonstrated leadership and has guided Sony Europe into new markets."
"The Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz will be the visible crowning achievement of my long career with Sony, to which I look back with satisfaction and pride. Our business environment is becoming more and more challenging, and the required acceleration of transformation is better left in younger hands," Schmuckli said. "I look forward to moving back to Switzerland, my home country, from which I have been absent for 35 years." After his retirement, Mr. Schmuckli will provide expertise to Sony when required, and particularly with the Sony project in Berlin.
Following Schmuckli's retirement, Serge Foucher, Sony Europe Chief Financial Officer, will serve as Sony Europe's Acting Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 1999. Mr. Foucher has been with Sony since 1979, the year he joined Sony France in Paris. As a member of the European Executive Board of Sony Europe since 1994, he has been actively involved in all major decisions affecting Sony's European operations.
A separate press release issued today jointly by Sony Corporation and Sony Europe announces the creation of a new management team at Sony Europe, headed by Serge Foucher.
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $51 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998, and it employs 173,000 people worldwide. Sony Corporation's homepage URL: (http://www.sony.co.jp).
Headquartered in Cologne, Sony Europe has nearly 17,000 employees in the areas of manufacturing, engineering, R&D, design, customer service, sales and marketing, in both Western and Eastern Europe. The company had revenues of DM 14.5 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998. Sony Europe's homepage URL: (http://www.sony-europe.com).