Unlike Inamori, who founded Kyocera, Sakuta is no Omron founder. Kazuma
Tateishi, Omron’s legendary founder, started the company 80 years ago.
Omron had been run by members of the founding Tateishi family for
decades, Sakuta, back in 2003, became the first Omron president from
outside its founding family. Sakuta is known to have led Omron to its
successful business in auto-related electronics parts.
The timing of Sakuta’s appointment has struck some Renesas watchers as suspicious.
it’s far too early to question Sakuta’s ability to pull Renesas out of
the hole, a general sense of wariness is timely. The industry was
expecting word from the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ),
sometime in June, 2013, about their choice of a fresh name for Renesas
INCJ, a government-backed private equity fund in Japan, has
committed to a two-thirds stake in the chip maker, part of Renesas’
plans to shore up its capital base through a 150 billion yen share
issuance to INCJ and other investors by the end of September.
an executive from yet another successful Kansai-based company strikes
many industry observers as too easy, too predictable and too
Clearly, Omron’s Sakuta is no Carlos Ghosn, savior of Nissan.
U.S. executive who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “This has the
fingerprints of Japanese bureaucrats all over it.” Although the INCJ is
supervised by Japan’s Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industry of Japan
(METI), some U.S. business executives hold high hopes for the private
equity fund. They view the INCJ as no ordinary Japanese financial
institution or bureaucracy bloated with over-the-hill civil servants.
Instead, it consists of a team of young Japanese MBA types -- many
graduates of MIT and business schools in the United States.
turns out, said the aforementioned U.S. executive, that the only
commonality between Kyocera and Omron is that they are both Kansai-based
companies. “There is nothing else in common. It just so happens that
picking up a turnaround specialist from a Kansai-based company is such a
fashionable thing to do now in Japan.”
Tetsuya Tsurumaru, who
assumed the presidency at Renesas in February on an interim basis, will
retain his post, according to Renesas. The suspense, however, will
continue to build as to how the rest of the management team will shape
Renesas announced earlier this month that the new member of
the board will be officially appointed as a representative director at a
meeting of the board of directors after the ordinary general meeting of shareholders scheduled in June. Other executive personnel changes will
be announced soon after decided, the company said.
I noticed the "" around the word "perfect". I'd like to bolster that with a recent experience:
Rather than spend any money on an audio amp I decided to try to fix an old lingering Pioneer receiver. Now I am not only an audio designer (or once was) I am an experienced electronics repairman/tinkerer and a skilled solderer. Couple that with the fact that this was a classic box of heralded Japanese quality and this was going to be a 45 minute job, tops. That's including the time it takes me to knock back a beer or two.
Or so I thought. Then I opened it up.
What an utter kludgy mess of a design the interior of this things is. I was aghast, and equally taken aback at the worst-practice manufacturing that must have gone into making it.
When I gathered myself my first thought how fooled we all were - us wide-eyed, gaped-mouthed, twenty-somthings ambling through isles of the local electronics stores of the 80's, staring longingly at all the shiny new LCD-laden faceplates, large dials, and perfect buttons which controlled the multitudinous features of the latest stuff from Japan. Gosh, if I'd have only known what was behind those faceplates I would not have felt so bad about lying to the eager sales guy about the $300.00 I didn't have in my pocket.
But teleporting back through my BSEE and 20+ years of experience my new powers of observation prompted me to wonder other things. Like how the heck did they make any money selling this stuff? Then, knowing that they obviously did make money – lots, it led me to think that this small, BOM-bloated and labor intensive snapshot of “Japan’s finest” could be perfectly emblematic of why Japan is struggling now.
Valid point! Connectivity and easier access to information than ever before has a lot to do with the ascension of other players. To stay on top, big corporations now a days need strategic product life cycle management where the innovation and ideation phase has to be actively nurtured. This is easier said than done!
How can you compare Microsoft with SONY or Renesas, or, for that matter, the entire Japanese electronics industry. Yes, many great companies do indeed fall victim to hubris and forget to innovate. The Japanese culture is infected with the samurai culture of obedience, precisely the opposite of innovation, especially game-changing innovation. It takes so long to get consensus and a decision from Japanese. And the culture of "perfect" quality, which propelled them to the forefront in the 80s, was replaced with "good enough" quality, and speed and cost became the new drivers. Japanese culture couldnt respond quickly enough.
Jim, I do not think is an issue with the Japanese companies. This is the challenge of any technology company. Can you say that Intel or Microsoft do great in the mobile space? How about Nokia or RIM? Or Yahoo and AOL? Organizations are hostages of their own success.
The real question is - Why are Japanese companies, once powerhouses in the technology industry, so uncompetitive in the current market. Unfortunately, I have yet to see a plan that I think will be successful in revitalizing any of the struggling Japanese tech companies, including Renesas.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.