Sony replaces top TV exec

The change to the company's top management is intended to reverse its sagging television profits.

Sony might be gaining share in the LCD TV market, but the overall television segment of Sony Electronics is still losing money.


On Tuesday, Sony announced a change to top management intended to reverse its sagging TV profits. The head of Sony's audio business, Hiroshi Yoshioka, has been tapped to replace Takashi Fukuda, who has run the TV business, the Wall Street Journal reported. The change takes affect Tuesday.

Though Sony has aggressively stepped up its TV shipments recently--it shipped the most LCD TVs worldwide for the last quarter of 2007--profits are a different story. The company said earlier this year it did not expect to post a profit for the fiscal year that ended Monday.

Sony's TV unit has struggled over the last year, but its electronic business has improved overall. The head of its U.S. electronics business, Stan Glasgow, said last month that the holiday sales period in late 2007 was the company's best ever.

Many of the top-tier TV manufacturers were caught off-guard by upstart LCD TV brands like Vizio and Westinghouse, which quickly drove down the costs of LCD sets in 2007 by selling through club stores like Costco and Sam's Club.

In response, Sony, which has traditionally branded itself as a high-end electronics seller, began cautiously testing out LCD models made specifically for discount retailers Wal-Mart Stores and Target last summer. The lower-priced and more basic-featured models were a smashing success, according to Glasgow, and Sony has increased the number of models it offers through both retail outlets.

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