Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony, announcing the company's management policies
Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony, announcing the company's management policies
[Click to enlarge image]

Sony Corp had a meeting to explain its management policies Feb 18, 2015, and announced its mid-term management plan for fiscal 2015 to 2017.

The company changed its past policies, which focus on sales and profitability, and defined return on equity (ROE) as the most important management index.

Sony aims to achieve a consolidated ROE of 10% or higher and consolidated operating profit of ¥500 billion (approx US$4.2 billion) as Sony Group in fiscal 2017, which is the final year of the mid-term management plan. In the earnings forecast for fiscal 2014 that the company announced Feb 4, 2014, the expected ROE and operating profit were -7.4% and ¥20 billion, respectively.

Aiming to have 'small headquarters'

In the latest mid-term management plan, there is no clear numeric target in regard to sales.

"In the past, we had a strong tendency to expand scale in all of the business fields and have discussions on sales and profitability," said Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony, who took the podium.

He plans to have a policy that focuses on capital efficiency for management reconstruction.

"We will spin off businesses that are currently run by the main body one by one," Hirai said. "(By leaving only departments related to management, R&D, etc to the main body), we will make small headquarters to increase the speed of making management strategies and decisions."

As part of the new policy, Sony will spin off its "video & sound business" by Oct 1, 2015. The business is related to the Walkman series of portable music players, home-use audio equipment, headphones, Blu-ray recorders/players, etc.

To reorganize its electronics business, Sony has thus far sold off the "Vaio" personal computer business in July 2014 and spun off its TV business, planning to spin off its digital camera and device businesses in addition to the video & sound business.

(Continue to the next page)