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Sony Restructures Consumer Sales, Marketing Operations

San Diego — Sony Electronics has restructured its consumer sales and marketing operations with Jay Vandenbree, president of Sony Consumer Sales, electing to leave the company.

Sony’s retail partners got the word in a letter earlier today, according to a company spokesperson. In the letter Stan Glasgow, president of Sony Electronics, said that Vandenbree, a 23-year Sony veteran who has held various sales positions with the company, took an early-retirement offer presented to employees.

The spokesperson said that based on Vandenbree’s election he would be leaving Sony probably within the next 30 to 60 days.

Sony did not reveal how many employees took advantage of the early retirement package, the spokesman. The early retirement program was originally mentioned when the Sony predicted a $1.1 billion loss for the fiscal year, ended March 31, back in January.

In the letter to retailers Sony said it had “listened to their feedback” concerning supply chain issues and vowed to do a better job to service and supply national, regional and specialty accounts and create “a world-class supply-chain operation,” the spokesperson said.

Mike Fasulo, executive VP who has headed Sony’s advertising and marketing operations, has been named to

head the new “Customer Platform” that combines consumer sales and marketing operations. Fasulo reports directly to Glasgow.

Ken Stevens, formerly zone VP for the central region, is now senior VP responsible for national accounts. Paul Spitale, former zone VP for the eastern region, is now senior VP for regional and specialty accounts.

As part of the new operation the previous sales zone structure of Sony Electronics’ consumer operation has ended.

Dennis McTighe, who has been western zone VP, will be leaving the company, according to industry sources.

Fasulo’s Customer Platform includes not only sales and marketing, but merchandising, advertising, sales training and education, in-store events, trade shows, customer service and customer care and related functions.

It supports the following four consumer business divisions:

  • home — includes audio/video products such as TV, Blu-ray and will be headed by Hiro Kawano, who was previously head of Sony Style and e-commerce operations;
  • information technology and portable audio — includes both those categories and will be headed by Mike Abary, who previously ran IT products;
  • digital imaging — headed by Ted Okada, who has been involved in the category before with Sony; and
  • media and applications solutions — to be run by Mike Lucas who was involved in this area prior to the restructuring.

The new structure will be fully operational by July when Sony will begin “a multi-faceted fulfillment strategy” that will get products to retail “with greater efficiency and speed,” a Sony spokesperson said, and all four division heads report to Glasgow.

Further details will be available soon, he added, and distributors will be used as part of the new program, “but none have been named as yet.”

Separately Randy Waynick, marketing senior VP for Sony Electronics’ home products division, is joining the company’s Consumer Of America operation that is described as “a unit of cross-category and new business initiatives” involving leading content and service partner strategies, the spokesperson said.

Waynick will spearhead work with network service providers, future marketing and new business opportunities.

Separately, Rick Clancy, long-time corporate communications senior VP and a blogger, is leaving the company as of June 1 as part of the early-retirement program.