by Anton Shilov
08/18/2009 | 09:06 AM
Sony Ericsson, which has been losing money and market share in the recent quarters, plans to add more focus on smartphones and multimedia handsets after the new chief executive officer Bert Nordberg takes the lead later this year.
On paper, Sony Ericsson has a lineup of phones that are appealing to almost everyone: to music fans, to photo fans, to business users and to casual users. However, in reality the company’s Walkman phones are less popular than more expensive Apple iPhone or Nokia MusicXpress, Cybershot cannot compete against Nokia N-series and smartphones are not as successful as RIM’s Blackberry, HTC’s devices or Nokia E-series among business users.
The outgoing chief executive officer Hideki (Dick) Komiyama has done some changes and initiated several new projects within Sony Ericsson and later this year the company is projected to unleash a brand new lineup of smartphones. However, to further transform the company, Sony and Ericsson have decided to change the leadership of their joint venture.
Bert Nordberg, currently executive vice president of the Ericsson Group and head of Ericsson Silicon Valley, will join Sony Ericsson as co-president effective 1st September and will become president on the 15th of October. Mr. Komiyama will retire from the company at the end of the year.
“The Sony Ericsson transformation programme I began over a year ago is more than half way completed, and I am pleased with what we have achieved so far. I believe it is the right time for me to begin transferring the leadership of the company to a person who is able to complete the transformation programme and lead Sony Ericsson through its next phase of development,” said Dick Komiyama.
In addition, Howard Stringer, Chairman, chief executive officer and president of Sony Corp., and a member of the board of Sony Ericsson, will become chairman of the board of Sony Ericsson on 15 October. Mr. Stringer will succeed Carl-Henric Svanberg, president and chief executive officer of Ericsson.
The new chief executive officer of Sony Ericsson clearly sees his role at the company and claims that open-source platforms and mobile content business are very important for the firm going forward, which may indicate that Mr. Norberg sees consumer smartphone market as a key to success.
“I am very pleased to be joining Sony Ericsson. With the growing importance of open source platforms, applications and content in the mobile handset industry, I believe the experiences I have gained in Silicon Valley will be very relevant to Sony Ericsson’s business going forward,” said Bert Nordberg.
One of the interesting projects that may be crucial for Sony Ericsson is the highly-anticipated PlayStation phone that will bring comfortable video gaming experience onto the market of mobile phones. The question is whether Mr. Stringer, who is head of Sony, will allow the joint venture to use the brand.