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Viken: Turnover No Concern To Sony

2/27/2004 09:36:00 AM Eastern

East Rutherford, N.J. - Despite the spate of upper echelon executive resignations induced by Sony Electronics’ pending move of its marketing operations to San Diego, dealers can expect business as usual from the market leading 'player.'

That was the pronouncement of Mark Viken, Sony Electronics corporate marketing senior VP, who was recently promoted to replace long-time Sony veteran Vic Pacor. Like a number of the others, Pacor recently left the company rather than make the shift west.

'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.,' Viken said at the company’s line review here. 'There are still many people who have been here for a long time. Personally, I have been here for 23 years. Even though there have been a lot of changes, there are a lot of great people who still work for Sony both here and in Japan.'

Beginning April and running through the summer, Sony Electronics will move most of its remaining northern New Jersey-based consumer-marketing operations to its offices in San Diego and San Jose, Calif. National consumer sales management and select support functions will also make the move.

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: home products; the personal, mobile, and imaging division; and the information technology products division.

'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. We’ve been there since 1972. 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. 'It should be very seamless. 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.

In recent months, Sony has waved goodbye to such long-time marketing executives as Pacor, Mike Vitelli, senior VP/general manager, and Jim Bonan, senior VP/general manager for corporate strategy, among others.