CEO: Kenichiro Yoshida
Based in: Tokyo, Japan
Founded: May 7, 1946
Best known for: Electronics
Traded on: Tokyo Stock Exchange
0'>Sony was initially known as Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering when it launched in the 1940s. Since then, it has become a conglomerate and one of the best-known brands in consumer electronics. Flagship products over the years have included Walkman stereo systems, PlayStation game consoles and countless cameras, DVD players, smartphones and televisions.
Although the Japanese giant is primarily known for its electronic goods, Sony has a diverse range of business interests. As well as working in insurance and banking, the company has its own advertising business – and it is also involved in the production of music, TV shows and films by owning picture studios and record labels.
Sony has played an instrumental role in Japan’s economic fortunes. Its portable transistor radios exploded in popularity during the 1950s and 1960s, and helped the company gain a reputation for developing quality products that helped it effectively penetrate the US market. The Walkman was the world’s first portable music player when it launched in 1979, enabling users to listen to music on the move via cassettes. Three years later, the manufacturer also launched the first-ever CD player.
Seven fast facts about Sony
1. Sony’s first-ever product was a rice cooker, and it was a flop
2. Bosses at the company initially didn’t like the idea of a Walkman
3. Before becoming a gaming giant, Sony was developing for Nintendo
4. Sony and Nintendo later fell out, and the PlayStation was born
5. A Walkman has been specially made for prisons, complete with a transparent case
6. Sony’s mascot is a golden guinea pig gifted by workers to the company’s co-founder
7. Sony sold its PC and laptops business in 2013