Sony Mobile names Kunimasa Suzuki new CEO

Michael Carroll
05 Apr 2012

Bert Nordberg will be replaced as president and chief of Sony Mobile Communications mid-May, when Kunimasa Suzuki takes the helm of the former Sony Ericsson mobile phone joint venture.

Nordberg is stepping down from the role after two and a half years in charge, but remains involved with Sony as chairman of the board of the Japanese firm’s mobile division. New corporate chief executive Kazuo Hirai hailed Nordberg’s contribution to Sony Ericsson, in particular his leadership as the firm transitioned from a maker of feature phones to smartphones.

Hirai states Nordberg’s continued involvement with Sony Mobile Communications will be a great boost to the incoming chief, “during these critical phases of the company’s integration with the wider Sony Group.”

New boss Suzuki is tasked with overseeing the planning and design of all Sony’s consumer products and services, and to strengthen horizontal integration and enhancing the user experience. He says smartphones are a cornerstone of the firm’s new core businesses – digital imaging, gaming and mobile.

Suzuki’s role is being aided by stability in the rest of the mobile unit’s executive team. Yoshihisa Ishida remains deputy chief executive, with Kristian Tear keeping his post as executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Still, the new team has its work cut out for it, with Sony Ericsson slipping back into the red during 4Q11. While 1Q12 results are imminent, figures for the second and third quarters will perhaps be more relevant in terms of assessing how effective the new structure is.

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