Sony Announces New Management Team at Sony Europe
Tokyo, Japan, and Cologne, Germany - Sony Corporation and Sony Europe today jointly announced the creation of a new management team at Sony Europe, the European headquarters for Sony's electronics operations based in Cologne. Today's announcement, which takes effect January 1, 1999, follows the recently announced retirement of Jack J. Schmuckli, Sony Europe Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, at the end of December.
The new management team at Sony Europe will be headed up by Serge Foucher, presently the company's Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Foucher will serve as the company's Acting Chief Executive Officer and report to the Sony Corporation Management Committee, which is chaired by Sony Corporation President and Co-Chief Executive Officer Nobuyuki Idei.
Sony Europe's European Executive Board, comprised of top management from Sony's key businesses, manufacturing and R&D operations and strategic functions in Europe, will be renamed the European Management Committee. Chaired by Serge Foucher, this committee will be responsible for the operational management of Sony's Pan European business activities. The strengthening of this committee's role is seen as a necessary step toward maintaining competitivenes in an operating environment characterized by rapid technological change, an increasingly borderless business world and new competition.
Contributing to the redevelopment of Berlin as a new center for Europe, Sony is currently building the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz and will move its European headquarters there in 1999. Nobuyuki Idei will oversee this development project, with Serge Foucher assuming overall responsibility and Edgar van Ommen, Managing Director of Sony Berlin, continuing with the day-to-day management of the project.
Commenting on today's announcement, Mr. Idei said, "Europe is going through some very exciting changes -politically, economically and technologically. One such change is the introduction of the Euro single currency next January, an initiative that will certainly help to accelerate trade within the participating countries, and which Sony fully supports.
"Our business environment continues to be challenging, and the speed at which we must make decisions and take action is becoming quicker and quicker. It is important for Sony to maintain a strong, energetic and integrated management team in Europe, and I believe that Serge is well prepared to build on the current foundation and strengthen our operations overall," he continued.
Mr. Foucher added, "I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to guide the next phase of Sony's European activities. Our consumer electronics operations have grown considerably over the years, and I look forward to working closely with our European Management Committee and my many colleagues in both Europe and Japan to grow the business further. By working together, we can become even stronger than before."
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).