1. Case study Preface “Sony in the U.K.”

1. Case study Preface “Sony in the U.K.”


When I was asked to join Sony UK ltd, in 1973, my initial assignment was to promote Sony U-Matic system for Commercial and Industry (C&I) market.

C&I Div has been selling open reel EIAJ standard VTR for educational market

headed by a UK General Manager.

So, U-Matic is the first new business added to C&I Div. and my boss and me are taking equipment as an excess baggage to Italy, Greece, Portugal etc to instruct how to set-it-up

and operate it to the customer such as IBM and Ford Motor Company.

Since we are the leader of U-Matic business, we have hired people from outside and train them to become manager then we were supplying these people to our dealers so that

our dealers become pro-Sony! (see more details under 4-1)


After U-Matic, we have addressed to expand our business in to Dictating machines market. So I went to see an exhibition called “UK Business equipment show” in Birmingham where I was looking mainly competitors to find out a candidate to take

senior position of new business. I found the candidate and talked him and pursued him to join Sony! This business become Business Systems Group within C&I.

The third new business was to create Viewdata business where I recruited an system engineer from DEC and asked him to 1) market Viewdata system and 2) to start Viewdata

system internally to build experiences of using it.

The sales is handled by Business Systems group. (see more details under 4-2)


The fourth new business created was Professional Audio Business where we plan to market PCM mastering system. I again hired a professional musician who does understand better about users’ view point rather than sales viewpoint.

He has created several new business contacts including EMI Abbey Road studio,

Nimbus record etc. and have met with George Martin at Abbey Road.


The fifth new business was a component business where a number of start-up

companies and newly acquired companies have started computer business.

We saw an opportunity to expand this area and hired computer peripheral guy

from competitors to head-up this new business. (see more details under 4-3)


The Sixth new business was Broadcast Business but this was only limited period that is before Sony Broadcast company was established. This was handed over to

Sony Broadcast company.