Sony is considering splitting off its imaging products business, according to a new statement from the company. Sony detailed planned management and organizational structure changes last week, saying its previously announced semiconductor business split will take place next month, placing its image sensors, among other things, under a wholly owned subsidiary.

Sony has been undergoing fairly extensive business restructuring over the past couple of years, having split off its TV business in summer 2014 and its Video & Sound business in October of last year. The semiconductor business split out next month will be its third business group to be separated into an autonomous subsidiary. Whether Sony will proceed to split out its Imaging Products and Solutions Sector is yet to be seen.

Splitting off these segments into subsidiaries will help Sony Corporation focus on strategy across the entire company, placing some operations under the governance of each new Sony Group that until recently were handled by headquarters. The transition of these services to Sony Group companies will start on April 1.

Press release:

Sony Corporation announces changes to organizational and management structure

Tokyo, Japan - Sony Corporation ("Sony" or the Company") has been engaged in the sequential splitting out of business units across the Sony Group, in order to reinforce the competitiveness of each business, and ensure clearly attributable accountability and responsibility.

In addition to Game & Network Services, Mobile Communications, Pictures, Music and certain other Sony Group businesses that were already operating autonomously as subsidiaries, in July 2014 Sony split out its TV business, followed by its Video & Sound business in October 2015. The Company also plans to split out and establish its semiconductor business as a wholly owned subsidiary in April 2016. Sony is also exploring the split out of its Imaging Products and Solutions Sector.

Concurrently, Sony has also been proceeding to realign the platform functions that support each of its business units in order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of these operations.

As previously announced, operations that until now have resided within Sony Corporation, including the Consumer AV Sales Platform, the Manufacturing, Logistics, Procurement, Quality and Environmental Platform for Sony's electronics business, as well as certain cloud-based platforms and service-related businesses, will each be transferred to the related Sony Group companies. This transition is scheduled to be made sequentially from April 1 2016.

Once the splitting out of these functions has been completed, Sony Corporation will focus on the following Group headquarters functions:

Headquarters: Responsibility for the Sony Group's overall strategy and governance, and oversight of their execution

  • R&D: Leadership of Sony's differentiation and creativity through technological innovation
  • New Business: Incubation of new businesses in areas beyond Sony's current business domains
  • Brand Design: To enhance Sony's brand value and implement horizontal Group-wide initiatives
  • Professional Services: To support the operations of the Sony Group following the completion of the splitting out process

In conjunction with this structural realignment, certain changes will also be made to Sony's executive assignments and system effective April 1, 2016, in order to further clarify lines of responsibility and assignments within each business and the headquarters organization. 

The Company will newly appoint four executives, currently in charge of four of the Sony Group's business segments, as "Corporate Executive Officers" of Sony Corporation. They, together with the six existing Corporate Executive Officers, will assume ultimate responsibility for the Sony Group's management within the scope assigned to them by the Company's Board of Directors. Sony will also re-classify its other executives. The executives responsible for executing their assigned business operations under the oversight of the relevant Corporate Executive Officers will be named "Business Executives" of Sony Corporation, while the executives responsible for the headquarters functions assigned to them under the oversight of relevant Corporate Executive Officers will be named "Corporate Executives" of Sony Corporation.

Via: Sony Global