Economy

CEA: Consumer Confidence Remains High
January 27, 2015

The Consumer Electronics Association's monthly measures of consumer confidence remain high, CEA said, although the tech number dropped slightly from last month.

CEA: Confidence Mixed Ahead of Holidays
October 29, 2014

CEA's Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) dropped 3.2 points in October, although the Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) rose 5.3 points the same month.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai Is Focused on 'Sonyness'
May 31, 2013

The final session on the final day of this year's D conference was an unusual one: Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher chatting with San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York and Sony CEO Kazuo "Kaz" Hirai.

Much of the conversation concerned Levi's Stadium, the 49ers' new home in Santa Clara, California, which is scheduled to open next year. The team and Sony are collaborating on technology for the venue, and while the stuff they talked about was thin on concrete details - it might involve 4K content and services to let you order food

Sony Eyes Two Former Apple Executives for Board
May 30, 2013

Sony is planning to add two new people to its board of directors, and both can trace their roots to Apple.

Eikoh Harada, current president of McDonalds Holdings Japan, and Tim Schaaff, Sony's former Network Entertainment chief, have been nominated to join the electronics giant's board of directors. Although people are elected for boards all the time, Harada and Schaaff's shared histories make these nominations rather interesting.

Report: Sony Hires Bankers to Explore Loeb's Partial Spinoff Plan
May 30, 2013

U.S.-listed shares of Sony extended their recent rally by jumping as much as 7% on Thursday on a report that the Japanese conglomerate has hired investment bankers to review a hedge-fund plan to sell part of its entertainment unit.

Investors have enthusiastically cheered billionaire Daniel Loeb's proposal for Sony to breathe new life into its electronics division by spinning off 15% to 20% of its movie and entertainment business.

According to Bloomberg News, Sony is working with Morgan Stanley and Citigroup as it considers adopting the plan put forth by Loeb's

Panasonic to Cut 5,000 Workers from Automotive and Industrial Division
May 29, 2013

Panasonic Corp said it will cut around 5,000 workers from its automotive and industrial division in a bid to bolster its operating profit margin over the next three years to a 5 percent minimum set by the company's president, Kazuhiko Tsuga.

The division, which covers automotive components, semiconductors, production machinery and other devices, employs 110,000 people, around a third of Panasonic's workforce. The business is at the forefront of Tsuga's strategy to shift Panasonic away from consumer electronics to building gadgets

Why the Tech Industry Needs Something New to Talk About
May 29, 2013

Last year when Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at D10, it occurred to me that he had probably the hardest job in American business: certainly the hardest job in technology, following in Steve Jobs' shadow. This year at D11, it's clear Cook is up to the job; but he needs something new to talk about to move Apple firmly into the post-Jobs era.

It's been ages since the last Apple public event in September 2012 to introduce the iPhone 5. Since then, one of the premier sources of showmanship

Sony's Bread and Butter? It's Not Electronics
May 28, 2013

Sony is best known as a consumer electronics company, making PlayStation game consoles and televisions. And it loses money on almost every gadget it sells.

Sony has made money making Hollywood movies and selling music. That profitable part of the business is what Daniel S. Loeb, an American investor and manager of the hedge fund Third Point, wants Sony to spin off to raise cash to resuscitate its electronics business.

But as Mr. Loeb pressures Sony executives to do more to revive the company's ailing electronics arm, some analysts are asking, Why bother?

Panasonic Said to Get Health Care Unit Bids From Toshiba, TPG
May 28, 2013

TPG Capital, Toshiba Corp. are among bidders for Panasonic Corp.'s health care unit, said people with knowledge of the matter.

A deal may be valued at more than 100 billion yen ($978 million), one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The company drew offers from fewer than 10 buyout funds in the first round of an auction, which closed yesterday, the person said.

The maker of Viera televisions is considering a sale of its health care and logistics units as it focuses on turning around