“SONY Revival Prospects & Shareholder meeting ” BBC TV interview June 29, 2012

This is a BBC TV Interview about SONY. The expert being interviewed, Gerhard Faso lwas a BDTI DirectorBoot Camp student.

click here to watch the video clip

Points in the interview

1. Stuck with 1990's structures: SONY's case is representative for many Japanese companies and also for many aspects of Japan as a whole today: SONY grew very rapidly until around 1995, when growth stopped. Since around 1995, there is no growth and averaged over the years zero profit. It's very clear, that many of the management structures and ways of doing things during the pre-1995 rapid growth phase don't work at all any more today.

2. A commodity maker? SONY needs to decide either to build an attractive ecosystem including attractive high-margin products – such as Apple does – or if SONY continues to shoot for the commodity business, with low margins, then it needs to be No. 1 in that space.

3. No diversity? in 2012? When we look at SONY's website describing SONY's top management, we can see that SONY's top managers are almost all Japanese men – almost no diversity. SONY's overwhelmingly Japanese male managers know Japan best – so it's no surprise that SONY's best performing division is the Financial Services division: a mainly domestic Japanese consumer credit card and life insurance company.

The Board Director Training Institute (BDTI) is a "public interest" nonprofit in Japan dedicated to training about directorship, corporate governance, and related management techniques. It is certified by the Japanese government to conduct these activities as a regulated nonprofit. Read a summary about BDTI here, and see a menu of its services for both corporations and investors here.

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