The Sony Club, high atop the company’s Madison Avenue New York headquarters, is a wood-paneled penthouse with wide windows that offer sweeping views of one of the world’s business capitals. The place is corporately posh, reminiscent of the 80’s and early 90’s, an era when Sony was leading the analog marketplace, delivering CRT’s and Walkman’s to an American public which was increasingly comfortable trusting a Japanese brand for everything from blank media to the first camcorders.
“As much as we miss them, those days are over,” says Jay Vandenbree, President of Sony’s Consumer Sales Company, who sat in the Sony Club this week with his notebook-sized Vaio, offering members of the tech press a summary of Sony’s outlook for the future of the American CE marketplace. During his twenty years with the company, Vandenbree has seen Sony eclipsed by Apple in the portable audio market and taken to task by bloggers for its root-kit method of digital rights management. He says the company has new task forces working on strategies for reconnecting with the American consumer and “taking back the internet.”
Taking back the internet??