Norio Ohga

Former Sony President and Chairman Norio Ohga, who gave up a career as an opera singer to join the fledgling consumer electronics maker in the 1950s and later led its expansion into movies and video games, died on Saturday, the company said.He was 81.

Ohga was Sony's president from 1982 to 1995, overseeing the $3.4 billion purchase of Columbia Pictures in 1989 at the height of Japan's economic bubble when many Japanese firms dominated their industries globally and were buying up iconic assets abroad.

Norio Ohga, the former Sony chairman known for his major role in the development of the compact disc, died Saturday at the age of 81, Sony announced.

The Columbia TriStar movies we watch, the Sony electronics we use, the Sony music we enjoy, and more, evolved from the dreams and ambitions of two men united in business and friendship more than 50 years ago. Sony's current status as a marketing and manufacturing machine lulls one to believe this corporate identity always existed on a grand scale. But a reading of Sony's history shows how the tenacity, humanity and ambitions of the company's founders set the company firmly on its current course. The partnership between Sony Corp. co-founders Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita was one forged in the hardships and challenges of

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