Sony’s 2011 financial year ended with a record US$5.7 billion loss, including a staggering report that it’s television division has not turned a profit in the pass eight years.
In a record 9,303 shareholder-strong gathering in Tokyo for Sony’s annual general meeting saw the Asian giant’s true struggle in maintaining it’s place in the global technology space. Sony’s market value at closing price the day before last Wednesday’s meeting was at US$13.9 billion, barely 10 percent of the US$158 billion worth of its main foreign rival, Samsung Electronics. Samsung currently dominates the global television market, where Sony is still trying to make their television devision profitable for the last eight years.
According to Eurotechnology Japan, Sony’s annual revenue growth has been pretty much stagnant since 1998, with annual net margins plunging.
In an interview with BBC, Gerhard Fasol of Eurotechnology Japan highlighted that Sony’s problems is being stuck with the company’s management structures in that 1990’s with little diversity. Sony is currently entered in a partnership with traditional rival, Panasonic, to manufacture panels for its televisions and large-sized displays.
New Sony CEO, Kazuo Hirai, has outlined his plans to bring the company back from the red. Some of his plans includes focusing on mobile devices, gaming and digital imaging while developing new businesses that includes a medical unit. In addition, the company will also be cutting 10,000 jobs, about 6 percent of its global workforce.
Sony joins the list of struggling technology companies such Yahoo!, Nokia and Research In Motion, that has made the news this year. As giants fall, will this give rise to a new breed of more agile companies or startups?