Origin: Sony City, Sony’s headquarters in Tokyo.
The company was founded on May 7, 1946 as Tōkyō Tsūshin Kōgyō (?, TTK)2 By Masaru Ibuka, an engineer, and Akio Morita, a physicist, hiring about 20 people in a company that was repairing electronic equipment and trying to create its own products.
The name Sony appeared on the products in 1955 but the Company changed its name only in January 1958. It comes from the latin sonus which means sound, and from the English expression then in vogue in Japan Sunny boy which designates a young person with a free and innovative spirit.
In 1954, the company began to develop : on that date, the company obtained a licence to manufacture transistors, a basic Electronic Component par excellence. Thus, the first Japanese transistors came out of Sony’s factories that year, six years after their invention in the United States. The following year, Sony released the first radio receiver entirely based on transistors3.
Major innovations include the colour video cassette in 1971, the Betamax VCR in 1975, the Walkman in 1979, the 3.5-inch diskette in 1984, an electronic camera in 1981, Sony Mavica, the compact disc in association with Philips in 1982, the first consumer Camcorder in 1983, the 8 mm video in 1988, the first digital camera in 1985, and the Blu-ray disc in 2006.
In terms of content, in 1987, Sony bought CBS, which became Sony Music Entertainment in 1991, and Columbia Pictures via Sony Pictures Entertainment in 1989.
Sony is an international company. Akio Morita felt from the outset that his company should consider the whole world as a market and not be limited to Japan. He insisted that the name Sony appear clearly on all products of the company.
Sony Corporation in the 2000s
In 2004, the turnover of all Sony Corporation companies and subsidiaries worldwide amounted to nearly € 69 billion. Sony’s share of the global consumer electronics market was estimated in 2004 at more than 14 % (ahead of Panasonic, Hitachi and Philips). In April 2004, Sony and Samsung formed a LCD slab joint venture in Korea called S-LCD4.
Sony also manufactures Semiconductors but only for its own subsidiaries. In 2005, Sony ranked 13th among the 20 largest semiconductor manufacturers.
On March 7, 2005,Howard Stringer, an American of English descent, was named Chairman of Sony Corporation after Nobuyuki Idei5, 6 resigned. The head office is located in Tokyo, Japan. The company has 158,500 employees worldwide as of March 31, 2006.
In May 2008, Sony announced a record net profit of nearly € 2.4 billion following a 2007 year marked by the excellent performance of its flagship products (CyberShot, Bravia, PlayStation, etc.) but also the sale of the production lines in Nagasaki of Cell processors and RSX in Toshiba and the sale of the Sony Center in Berlin7. On December 9, 2008, Sony Corporation announced a wave of redundancies affecting 8,000 employees by the year 2010, as well as a 30% reduction in investment in research and development to deal with the economic crisis and the fall in sales, particularly in the lcd8 screen business.
During 2009, Sony sought to revive itself : the Company continued its restructuring plan by creating the Consumer, Professional & Devices Group, which brings together both image and son activities,and the Networked Products & Services Group, which brings together the video games, it and Online services branches of Sony. 9 In December 2009, Sony acquired a 7% stake in the Sharp Display Product subsidiary, which manages Sharp’s tenth-generation LCD slab manufacturing plant in Sakai, which is expected to grow to 34% in April 2011.10 However, this new investment never took place, and in May 2012, Sony announced that it would withdraw completely from this line.11
The year 2010 was also a pivotal year for the various divisions of the group; the 3D “relief” made a massive entry in the catalog of products General Public of the brand (Bravia, PS3, etc.), agreements are made with Google to integrate Android with various systems (smartphone Xperia, Google TV…), announced the acquisition of the Nagasaki semiconductor plant in Toshiba to double its photo sensor production capacity12, and Sony Computer Entertainment returns to profitability due to lower manufacturing costs for the PlayStation consoles.13
Since 2010, Sony’s electronics division has lost money.14
The year 2011 is an opportunity for Sony to expand its PlayStation Network platform, already well established among the general public, by launching the Qriocity15 service, aimed at the various products of the brand, and in particular at the future Android tablets.16 That same year, the ” PSN ” was put offline by DDoS attacks as well as the attack led by Lulzsec for nearly a month. Sony discovers flaws exposing users ‘ personal data. Users also discover Sony’s shenanigans using the PSN (such as Automatic retrieval of personal data). The service, once secured, will resume partially on May 15,17. The Japanese company also had to deal with the earthquake of 11 March 201118, the fire in one of its logistics platforms on the outskirts of London during the august19 riots, and the floods in Thailand which paralyzed its photo20 production sites. In addition,the Group announced a restructuring of its television division following declining sales. 21
On August 31, 2011, Sony announced an agreement with Hitachi, Toshiba and INCJ to Pool the means of producing LCD panels of small and medium size in the form of a new company called Japan Display22. On 27 October, the Group announced the acquisition of Swedish Ericsson’s shares in their joint venture Sony Ericsson.23 On December 26, Samsung Electronics announces that it is buying Sony’s stake in their joint venture to manufacture LCD s-LCD slab for 1,008 billion won (€671 million)24. At the end of June 2012, Sony and Panasonic announced that they are now working together to develop their techniques for shaping OLED (organic light emitting diode)25 screens.
At the end of March 2012, Sony announced significant losses and a possible restructuring. Management decides to focus on reporting areas.
On July 2, 2012, Sony announced the purchase of the Gaikai-based gaming service for an amount of $ 380 million (approximately € 301 million).26
In March 2013, Sony sold its 13.14% stake in DeNA for $ 438 million27.
In November 2013, Sony released the PlayStation 4, its new home console. As soon as it was released, sales were very high and, knowing that it would bring in$ 18 per unit in the United States (cost of production of about$ 381 for a sales price of$ 399), Sony hoped to raise the financial level of its video games division[ref. necessary] 28.
On February 5, 2014, Nihon Keizai Shinbun announced that Sony would sell its Japanese computer business (VAIO brand) to the Japan Industrial Partners Fund for 40-50 billion yen (300-370 million euros).29 In addition, as a result of the divestment, the Group plans to reduce its workforce by 5,000 employees, including 3,500 abroad.30 Japan Industrial Partners will set up a new company called Vaio Corporation on 1 July, in which Sony will be a 5% 31 shareholder.
In October 2015, Sony announced its intention to split up its activities in the electronic sensors in order to give more autonomy and visibility to these activities32. In the same month, Toshiba sold its image sensor business to Sony for $ 165 million.33 In January 2016, Sony acquired the Israeli company Altair Semiconductor for $ 212 million34. In March 2016, Sony acquired the 50% it did not own in Sony/ATV Music Publishing for $ 750 million, a company that manages the Rights of The Beatles, Taylor Swift and Elvis Presley35. In July 2016, Murata Manufacturing acquired Sony Energy Devices, a subsidiary of Sony that produces batteries for mobile equipments36.
In May 2018, Sony announced the acquisition of a 60% stake in EMI for $ 2.3 billion, increasing its stake from 30% to 90%. %