$156 million vs $150 million Locked

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OP Doug Janis Contributing Member • Posts: 860
Re: $156 million vs $150 million

Tony Northrup wrote:

Pollos wrote:

Doug Janis wrote:

In Japan apparently most external sales staff (non-Japanese) have been let go. This started months ago. Most of the software, design, and optical engineers have left or are moving to the medical imaging. Overseas assembly plants are being quietly shopped for real estate value alone. The glazing kilns are shutting down for consumer imaging. The company is preparing to only sell from inventory. New products are technically on hold until Olympus figures out how much to pay JIP to take these losses off their hands. Olympus Visionaries in some countries have already been told they must stick to NDAs and there is no marketing budget nor equipment available.

What is the source of this news?

Came here to ask this. I can validate a couple of OP's statements, but I'm curious how you know about them selling overseas assembly plants, shutting down the glazing kiln, putting new products on hold, etc. Share publicly if you can, if not, you can email me and I'll keep it private.

It’s on employment and DoCoMo message boards for engineers, some of whom I work with. I am sure most is speculation, but posts going back months are about engineers leaving and not being replaced. They are production oversight. When they leave, the product lines are stopping. At least one is permanently back from Vietnam. That is lens assembly. Apparently the optics are made in Japan, but not getting to Vietnam as HQ isn’t willing to bleed money. Covid is cover for a lot of this. Like with the Fukushima quake, everything is just stopping. With Olympus apparently it really is stopping.

Photography is a huge pastime in Japan, up there with gardening and fishing. Second only to food appreciation. Everyone knows the brands and pretty much every household has a camera or two in addition to smartphones. People don’t really follow stocks so much as corporate culture and practices. Olympus has a rep for being technically excellent, but with corrupt managers and “good old boys” who undermine hardworking employees. It’s a top tier employer with a global brand, so it is watched by many. The culture is often opaque, but when people eventually open up, they are usually precise. It’s very trial and error, so there is a lot of discussion about how and why things go wrong. Retrospective and introspective and thorough.

Micro 43 is very popular here. Full frame not so much as the lenses are simply too big. Compactness is a virtue. Being bulky and heavy is frowned on. Olympus is heavily criticized for their 1.2 primes, but loved for the telephoto lenses because they are much smaller. There is much less discussion about overall IQ because most photos are now shared online. 1” sensors are popular, too. The culture is more appreciative of a subtle, small approach. Lugging an RP with the 24-70/2 around would be seen as overdoing it. Japan is an export culture, though. So if Americans obsess with IQ overkill and that sets part of the market, then that’s a (crop) factor.

If JIP is transitioning Olympus to new ownership, then they will focus (sic) on Asia only where the whole FF vs smaller formats debate is almost non-existent. It’s kind of like toilets where the Japanese make a vastly superior product but the non-Asian West lacks innovation common sense in favor of a single attribute, like size or price. Getting rid of the American market is often seen as good because it’s becoming less and less important. But the Asian and especially Chinese markets are difficult for obvious reasons. All I can say after extensive beer and sake talks with photo club members over the last day is that JIP isn’t in photography as a primary manufacturer. They are either there to part out Olympus or prep it for sale to a conglomerate entity. There is some sense that this is a shot across Pansonic’s bow. 43 might only be able to support a single supplier, but Panasonic alone would have to drop the smaller sensor. Micro 43 has been dependent on Olympus for survival. On that everyone agrees. If Olympus falls out completely, then the format is likely dead. The value in Olympus is likely in its optics. IBIS and other tech has been incorporated elsewhere. Going to JIP means that a lot of the on-house tech simply isn’t ahead anymore.

11 hour work days followed by 7 hours eating and drinking, 2 hours of commuting and sleep in between.

 Doug Janis's gear list:Doug Janis's gear list
Ricoh GR III Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M1 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +3 more
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