Sony has announced that it is to spin-off its camera business next Spring. The new company, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions, will commence operations at the beginning of April, 2017. It will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.
This may come as a bit of a shock to many but the plan was actually revealed last year. It’s part of a restructuring strategy that has seen Sony’s divisions being spun-out to make them more independent and competitive. The remaining core element of Sony becomes a holding company that the other Sony companies are strategically managed by. Sony expects the new companies to be more accountable and to be able top make decisions and plan ahead with greater independence and speed.
Sony Imaging Products & Solutions includes the Sony Alpha consumer camera business, professional broadcast camera equipment, as well as medical imaging products and related research and development entities. 3,500 staff fall under the auspices of the new company. There will be more independent responsibility for marketing within the new company.
There is no obvious sign that the corporate changes will make much difference in the short to medium term to the consumer camera business or its product range. Profitability in the consumer camera sector has been tough and Sony’s overall sales volumes have been in steady decline. Sony’s semiconductor business, which is responsible for image sensors, was previously spun out to a separate company and is not part of Sony Imaging Products & Solutions.