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Kono To China As Panasonic Makes Changes

Panasonic re-shuffled its upper ranks in North America with Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company president/COO Martin Kono taking another executive post in China, a new executive VP and COO of Panasonic Corporation of North America being named and two new business units being formed.

Panasonic confirmed to TWICE that Kono has been named president of Panasonic Marketing & Sales Company (China) based in Shanghai.

Yoshi Yamada, chairman/CEO of Panasonic Corp. of North America, will serve concurrently as president of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company the position that Kono leaves. A company spokesperson said a search is not being conducted for a full-time replacement. Kono had been president/COO of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company since mid-2004.

Joseph Taylor, who was president/COO of Panasonic Industrial, has been named executive VP/COO of Panasonic Corp. of North America and will report directly to Yamada. He will be responsible for leading key corporate strategic initiatives and building alliances for Panasonic, the company said in a press release this morning.

Taylor has also been named an executive officer of parent company Matsushita Electric Industrial, effective April 1, the first American to be appointed to that post. He will be involved in formulating and executing Matsushita’s global business strategy.

John Iacoviello, who was named president of Panasonic’s sales and marketing group in December 2006, will continue in his current post and report to Yamada.

Panasonic Corp. of North America has created two new unit companies that will be responsible exclusively for the increasingly strategic digital-display business, including plasma, LCD and MMD TV technologies, which was announced during a press conference, here.

Hideaki Harada will lead Panasonic’s new consumer enterprise as president of Panasonic Display Co. and Andy Nelkin will lead the new business-to-business professional enterprise as president of Panasonic Professional Display Company, both reporting to Yamada.

Harada was formerly strategic planning VP while Nelkin was formerly display group VP for Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. (PCEC).

Dennis Eppel, formerly PCEC display group national marketing manager has been appointed VP of Panasonic Display Company, reporting to Harada.

“In creating the Panasonic Display Company, we are making a radical change in the way we get the job done and extending the transformation that Panasonic launched more than two years ago,” said Harada. “This new organization will shorten distances between product development, our factories and our sales and marketing functions, enabling Panasonic to react even more swiftly to meet channel partner and customer demands.