A Kinder, Gentler Sony

Back in the day, Sony had a reputation for being, um, independent minded.

The company was notorious for its stubborn nonpartisanship when it came to developing products. Its partnership with Philips famously succeeded with the invention of the CD. But Sony’s “our way, or the highway” attitude also brought forth the Betamax.

At Sunday’s CES press conference, with Warner’s Defection to Blu-ray (Sony’s camp) Sony could have been especially smug. Instead, executives, even CEO Sir Howard Stringer, were noticeably humble and even apologetic. They stressed that Sony was ready to play nicely with others, grow corporate relationships, and in particular, listen to its customers.

Lately, it’s been said that Sony has “lost its way.” Now, it seems like Sony is intent on being inclusive and open to suggestions. That’s a good move. Sir Howard, call me if you need anything.
—Ken C. Pohlmann