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Exec Turnover Not A Concern As Sony Moves

3/08/2004 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Despite the spate of upper-echelon executive resignations induced by Sony Electronics' pending move of its marketing operations to San Diego, the most recent being the resignation of Bob Weissburg, president of its consumer sales organization, dealers can expect business as usual from the company.

That was the pronouncement of Mark Viken, Sony Electronics senior VP/senior GM of corporate marketing, who was recently promoted to replace another long-time Sony veteran, Vic Pacor. Other senior VP/GMs who have departed recently are Mike Vitelli (See TWICE People, p. 8) and Jim Bonan, who opted to resign rather than move west.

Weissburg is being replaced on April 1 by Stan Glasgow, who currently heads Sony Electronics' IT products division and is already based in San Diego. Weissburg, who had planned to work out of offices "on both coasts," the company said, came to the conclusion that "the top sales management position should be based in San Diego, along with the heads of our consumer marketing divisions and our overall… management team."

Viken told TWICE at the Sony line review here, prior to the Weissburg announcement, "We are a player. We are going to continue to be player, and our dealers should feel confident in the team that we have here in the U.S. There are still many people who have been here for a long time. Personally, I have been here for 23 years."

Beginning in April and running through the summer, Sony Electronics will move most of its remaining northern New Jersey-based consumer marketing operations to San Diego and San Jose, Calif.

Sony Electronics employs about 1,600 people in multiple buildings in northern New Jersey, and after the consolidation, area employees will be consolidated largely into the company's headquarters here, which has a capacity of about 1,000.

The decision was made after Sony veteran Dick Komiyama was appointed Sony Electronics president/COO and the June 1 consolidation of five consumer business units into three.

"With the pending move to San Diego, we will have a few new faces, but we already have a lot of people that are in place in San Diego," Viken said. "There are 2,500 Sony employees in the San Diego area. It's not a new place for us, and we are not going to skip a beat."

Even East Coast dealers should expect business as usual during and after the move, Viken said. "Our sales people live near their customers and territories, and they will stay there. In addition, around 1,000 people will remain in Park Ridge, N.J."

Additional reporting by Steve Smith.

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