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Sharp Realigns U.S. Marketing, Sales Groups

MAHWAH, N.J. — In a corporate realignment move, Sharp Electronics Corp. said it has created the Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America (SEMCA) which will bring existing sales and marketing efforts for consumer electronics and business products into a single finished products company.

Noburu Fujimoto, formerly managing director of Sharp Australia, has been appointed SEMCA president, reporting to Toshiaki Urushisako, Sharp Electronics Corp chairman and president and CEO of Sharp’s North and South American operations.

SEMCA will consist of three groups. Sharp’s Consumer Electronics Group will include divisions focusing on Audio Visual products, such as flat CRT TVs, digital camcorders and DVDs; Appliances, including microwave ovens and air conditioners; and SharpVision high-technology home theater products, including LCD TVs and projectors as well as 1-Bit Audio systems.

A Professional Business Solutions Group will include divisions handling digital copier/printers, LCD Data Projectors and point-of-sale solutions. Finally, a Mobile Systems & Home IT Group will focus on Sharp’s emerging handheld mobile solutions and home office products.

Noburu Fujimoto, 50, joins Sharp Electronics Corporation from Sharp Australia, where he was responsible for overall direction, management and administration of all Sharp operations.

Meanwhile, SECMA’s Consumer Electronics Group is attempting to develop a mass market for its LCD TV lineup, with the introduction of next-generation models at lower entry prices, a ergonomically styled cabinet and stand design brighter picture performance and a new sub-brand moniker called Aquos.

Tony Favia, Sharp Consumer Electronics Group LCD TV senior product manager explained the new line name is Sharp’s definition for “an object having the properties of liquid crystal,” combining the Greek words for water with quality.

The Aquos LCD-TV series will offer a sleeker design, and will use a new Black TFT LCD technology that provides improved contrast (350:1) in strong light. The line will include models in the 13-inch, 15-inch and 20-inch 4:3 aspect ratio screen sizes.

The 13-inch LC-13B2U will ship in June at a $1,599 suggested retail. The 20-inch LC-20B2U ships in July at $3,999 and the 15-inch LC-15B2U ships in August at $2,299.