Neil Vander Dussen, 35-year veteran of the broadcast and consumer electronics industries, died Saturday, June 9, from a brain aneurysm. He was 69.
Vander Dussen joined Sony in 1981 in New York as president and CEO of the Sony Broadcast Products Company after a long career with RCA. In 1983 he was appointed president of Sony Consumer Products Company, and in 1984 was promoted to president of Sony’s U.S. Marketing Group based in Park Ridge, N.J. In 1985, he was named president and COO of Sony Corporation of America, a position he held until January 1991.
Vander Dussen served concurrently as vice chairman of Sony Corporation of America, Sony Engineering and Manufacturing of America, and Sony Recording Media of America until his retirement in 1992.
Prior to joining Sony, Vander Dussen’s career began at RCA in 1957 as a broadcast sales engineer. He rose steadily at RCA, serving as division vice president and general manager, RCA Broadcast System; division vice president and general manager, RCA Commercial Communications Systems; and executive vice president, RCA Corporation.
In a prepared statement Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation of America, noted, “[Vander Dussen] joined Sony in 1981, when U.S. sales totaled about $800 million. By the time of his retirement in 1992 as vice chairman, the company’s annual revenue had increased sixfold to $5 billion, and Neil’s role in this remarkable growth was pivotal. His calm and shrewd leadership will be long remembered at Sony.”
According to Masaaki Morita, chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation of America during Vander Dussen’s tenure, “Neil’s impact on Sony America, and on the global Sony family, was immense. While his strong personal values translated into standards of professionalism that have shaped the behavior of an entire generation of strong managers in our U.S. electronics business. His business skills helped make Sony the undisputed leader in both the broadcast and consumer electronics industries, and contributed to our becoming one of the strongest marketing organizations in the world.”
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Gerie, two daughters and four grandchildren.