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Panasonic, JVC Realign U.S. Operations

2/09/2009 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Panasonic Consumer Electronics and JVC Americas both announced realignments of U.S. operations last week.

In Panasonic's case it acknowledged information sent to TWICE days before it announced a worldwide layoff (see p. 6). U.S. employees and key retailers were notified that the U.S. sales and marketing operations are “going through a transformation” to better meet the demands of the market.

This transformation, which was said to still be in progress, was described as a restructuring coupled with an organizational realignment and process changes.

The moves follow the announcement in late December that Bob Perry had been promoted to executive VP of Panasonic Consumer Electronics with responsibility for North American sales, marketing and product merchandising. Perry reports directly to Shiro Kitajima, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company president.

According to a statement issued in response to TWICE's inquiries last Monday, “Panasonic made some initial changes in leadership in the sales management team, and is now studying what additional changes need to be made across the organization.”

The spokesman stopped short of saying which positions have been changed and what new personnel, if any, have been added to the team. Sources indicated the changes include some management positions in regional sales territories.

The statement continued, “The company expects the changes we are making to dramatically improve our support and service to our dealers and consumers. In the coming months we will be announcing details of these changes to our business partners.”

Panasonic's corporate parent in Japan announced its third quarter financial report last Wednesday. (See p. 6.)

JVC Americas said it will consolidate its U.S. operations, combining three U.S. sales companies and its U.S. service company into one unit, effective April 1.

A company spokesman said the move will include the elimination of about 15 percent of the U.S. workforce, including open positions that will not be filled.

According to a statement announcing the changes, sales organizations will continue to operate as before.

“The consolidation of our four U.S. companies into a single entity will allow JVC to operate more efficiently by reducing the duplication of functions, and will strengthen JVC's position in the U.S. market,” said Mike Saito, president, JVC Americas.

Companies being combined include:

  • JVC Company of America (consumer TVs, camcorders, audio, accessories and recording media);

  • JVC Mobile Company of America, (car audio, video and navigation);

  • JVC Professional Products Company, (professional cameras, security and displays); and

  • JVC Service and Engineering Company, the service division for all three U.S. sales companies.