Toshiba CE To Move In New Realignment

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IRVINE, CALIF. — One month after announcing a realignment of its consumer electronics business unit, Toshiba said its IT products division Toshiba America Information Systems (TAIS) and its CE products unit Toshiba America Consumer Products (TACP) will merge into a single operating company, effective July 1.

Under the latest plan TACP will be integrated into the digital products division (DPD), a division of TAIS, and the combined operation will be located at the current TAIS headquarters in Irvine, Calif.

The company said the move was “designed to take full advantage of the ongoing digital convergence in the U.S. market by combining the resources of each company to provide the industry’s broadest and strongest range of digital products.”

The move follows an announcement last month that the TACP unit had just realigned its marketing operations, merging the key TV marketing and digital audio/video marketing departments into a central marketing department.

Scott Ramirez, formerly TV marketing VP, was promoted to marketing VP for all TACP products in that change.

Toshiba would not disclose which TACP executives would be making the move west to join TAIS, or what their new positions would be in the combined organization.

In Irvine, TAIS markets and sells a range of information technology products, including laptop computers, storage devices, telephone systems and industrial camera products in the U.S. The company also recently added its first flash-based digital camcorder.

TAIS will continue to be led by Mark Simons, who is the current president. The new digital products division will report to Jeff Barney, general manager, according to a TAIS spokesperson.

Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., TACP has marketed and sold home entertainment products, including high-definition flatpanel TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, TV/DVD combination products and portable DVD players.

Toshiba said the unification will leverage the convergence between PC and TV technologies and will generate synergies in sales, service, marketing and communication activities. The company expects the action to “strengthening Toshiba’s overall brand image and increasing brand awareness.”

Toshiba said it has closely monitored the evolution in the U.S. market of the convergence between information technology and visual products.

“By combining the U.S. operations of two of Toshiba’s pivotal businesses, Toshiba will further its market leadership and will be better positioned to offer new products and services to customers,” the company said in a statement announcing the move.

In the new arrangement, TAIS will market and sell a full line of LED and LCD TVs, TV/DVD combination units, Blu-ray Disc players, portable DVD players, and DVD player and recorder products, as well as laptop computers, hard drives, industrial camera products, telecommunication systems and imaging systems.

“This integration of our PC and TV business makes us the strongest player in the combined category in the U.S. and allows us to be a leader in providing synergies between the products and in offering innovative solutions for the connected home,” stated Simons. “We will also achieve efficiencies of operation that further enhance our competitiveness.”

The Irvine operation is also home to other Toshiba America subsidiaries, including Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS), Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) and Toshiba America Medical Systems (TAMS).


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