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June 22, 2000
Sony Corporation Chairman of the Board Norio Ohga to Receive
Honorary IEEE Membership
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) will award an honorary membership to Norio Ohga, Chairman of the Board of Sony Corporation, in a ceremony to be held on June 24, in Vancouver, Canada.
The IEEE is the world's largest technical professional society and each year it presents awards to recognize outstanding achievement in the art and science of electrotechnology. Sony Corporation has been recognized on several occasions. In 1972, Masaru Ibuka the late founder and Chairman of Sony received the IEEE Founders Medal and in 1987 Sony Corporation received the IEEE Corporate Innovation Recognition Award. The late Akio Morita, Chairman of Sony, was made an IEEE Honorary Member in 1991 and received the IEEE Founders Medal in 1994. The IEEE has also named one of its technical field awards after Masaru Ibuka (the "Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award").
Mr. Ohga is being recognized "for visionary leadership in the development of the MiniDisc." As President, Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation, Mr. Ohga pioneered the concept of the MiniDisc and elaborated a set of detailed specifications for its product development. This inaugurated an entirely new area of business for the recording media industry.
Norio Ohga's career has been characterized by an unfailing devotion to top-quality design, music and technology. He served as consultant and advisor to Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (renamed Sony Corporation in 1958) during the development of Japan's first tape recorder.
After studying music in Germany, Mr. Ohga was named general manager of Sony's Tape Recorder Division in 1959. He concurrently served as head of Sony's Product Planning Division, and was simultaneously in charge of Industrial Design at Sony.
Appointed Senior Managing Director of CBS/Sony Records Inc. in 1968, Mr. Ohga helped nurture the newly established record company, a joint venture with CBS, into Japan's largest record company.
Not only has Mr. Ohga played a key role in popularizing analog media such as the compact cassette tape, he has also been central in ushering in the digital audio era. His leadership was crucial in the development of key technologies that enabled the establishment of new audio formats, such as the compact disc (CD) in 1982, the MiniDisc (MD) in 1992, and Super Audio CD (SACD) in 1999.
As President of Sony Corporation, Mr. Ohga facilitated the company's acquisition of CBS Records (now Sony Music Entertainment) in 1988 and Columbia Pictures Entertainment (now Sony Pictures Entertainment) in 1989, with the aim of creating a total entertainment company.
Appointed chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation in 1995, he guided the company through its swift transition into the digital era. Mr. Ohga is now Chairman of the Board of Sony Corporation.