Panasonic chief Kazuhiro Tsuga, girding for another year of huge losses, must find a way to return Japan's largest consumer electronics company to profitability.
Tsuga also said many of the businesses he highlighted in
his CES keynote speech – automotive, avionics, white goods, personal
healthcare products – still have the potential to
generate profits. As for TVs, he said it is no longer a "standalone" business. Instead, Tsuga calls
TV an "infrastructure-based product" because content, broadcast and
services must merge to make TV work. In contrast, home
appliances are "standalone" products that Panasonic can
exploit to generate profit.
TV isn’t a business Panasonic is
willing to walk away from any time soon. Tsuga said customers expect it to provide state-of-the-art TVs, adding that TV is a platform, not a standalone product. TV manufacturing allows Panasonic to develop new solutions and services, he added.
There is one market Panasonic is exiting: mobile phones. It plans to slash much of its mobile
business in Europe and Japan after struggling to make any headway in the
global smartphone market. Referring to diverging standards in the emerging LTE market, Tsuga added, “That’s too much for us. The margin for mobile handsets is
Tsuga answered every question with striking
candor, and his keynote presentation was both smooth and
effective. It remains to be seen whether Tsuga’s obvious competence and
sincerity will enough to turn around struggling Panasonic..
Panasonic chief Kazuhiro Tsuga on stage at CES 2013 keynote