Morita's Legacy and International Strategy at Sony
(10 pages of text)
Two years after the death of Sony’s visionary founder, Akio Morita, chief executive officer Noboyuki Idei faced a major crisis. Sony had just posted its worst performance in years and had to figure out if its current strategy needed to change. In pursuit of Morita’s vision to bring entertainment to the masses through innovation and applied technology, Sony had grown from a small Japanese company to a US$50-billion-per-year global corporation. As it entered the new millennium without its founder, Idei realized that the success Sony had enjoyed in the 1990s was being challenged in the global marketplace. With increasing global competition and in the midst of a recession, the company’s net income was far below expectations. The situation would probably worsen if Sony failed to make immediate strategic changes, including changes to its international strategy. Idei had experienced firsthand the success Sony enjoyed in the 1990s as it expanded its product lines and international presence. By April 2001, after reviewing the previous year’s financial performance, Idei knew Sony was fighting an uphill battle. All that Morita had worked towards, particularly in the 1990s, was suddenly being threatened. Idei faced a critical decision going forward. Sony was a company that still strove to embody its founders’ vision, but could he dare go against his predecessor’s approach and pursue a new international strategy?
- To provide insight into why internationalizing companies choose different expansion strategies in different regions in the same period of time.
- To develop students’ ability to provide guidance to an international company that is facing an increasingly hostile environment.
- To develop students’ skills in identifying situations in which a founder’s vision needs to be challenged or updated.
Japan, Large, 2001
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