ABC Nightline, April 1990, Profile of Sony’s Akio Morita

akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s. This is a topic that many people are looking for. is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, would like to introduce to you ABC Nightline, April 1990, Profile of Sonys Akio Morita. Following along are instructions in the video below:
Morita is highly critical of the way americans do business among his charges that if if weve lost our competitive edge. We have only ourselves to blame well what we can learn from him tonight. This is abc news nightline reporting from washington.
Ted koppel. Its something along the lines of a love hate relationship. We admire japanese salesmanship and products even as we resent the inroads that both are making here in the united states.
We are convinced that somehow japan is using a double standard. Flooding the american market with its products while making the sale of us goods in japan next to impossible and while that is at least partially true we pay less attention to the fact that the japanese businessmen who come to this country. Speak english and have taken the trouble to learn something about our customs.
While it is the rare american businessman who takes that kind of knowledge of japanese language and customs with him to japan we are hurt when one of the most successful japanese businessmen of our generation. The founder and chairman of sony accuses americans in effect of being a nation of crybabies well maybe akio morita is very success has earned him our attention here is a short profile by nightline correspondent jackie jo akio morita presides over a company with sales last year exceeding the gross national product of zimbabwe. Iceland and honduras combined sixteen billion dollars in all not bad for a firstborn son expected to take over the family sake brewery electronic physics is what morita loved and what he pursued after the war he began sony with a 500 stake from his family working out of the basement of a bombed out tokyo department store back in the nineteen sixties.
President de gaulle of france and dismissed the japanese as nothing more than transistors. It well. Mr.
Morita is the greatest transistor salesman of all time the rise began in 1952. When sony bought the rights from western electric to manufacture the transistor in japan from that the company produced the first transistor or pocket radio problem was the radio. Didnt fit into a shirt pocket.
So morita made his salesmen new shirts with bigger pockets to convince customers. The radio lived up to its name the ploy worked and sony was often running morita knew early on he wanted to sell internationally. He was one of the first japanese industrialists to hire a madison avenue.
Firm to introduce the name sony to america moritas genius is creating products. We dont even know we want but once on the shelves. We cant get enough of them theres the trinitron television set the walkman the video watch man.
The compact disc and more sony is bigger here than in japan. And so is morita. Hes important enough to have been asked to sell an american product in his homeland morita is not a member of the old line business elite.
The zaibatsu and his style sets him apart as well. Hes been a real kind of buccaneer entrepreneur in the japanese world in ways that we think of as american and he built a wonderful company more or less on his own and what we would think of as the american tradition this make sent has made him until recently much more admired in america than in japan. Some suggest a book morita recently co authored with a popular nationalist politician.
Critical of the united states was his attempt to become a part of the zaibatsu. Marina naively. Believed the book would stay inside japan.
When it became an underground must read in the united states his plan backfired he certainly knows that it was a mistake and i think it hes sorry that it was handled away it was handled and i think he now realizes that probably the best thing for him to do is to be a good corporate citizen in this country. But for the most part morita still energetic at 69 has strung together one success after another and the question must be asked what in him made it all work. He really looked for new things always buy new happiness swing away.
Sometimes he may have been adventurous so it could be argued that the vaunted sony spirit of seeking the unknown describes not only the company. But also the man who created it this is jackie judd for nightline. Our interview with akio morita when we return in just a moment.
Sony chairman akio morita was in washington this week for a meeting of the trilateral commission an organization of distinguished citizens from north america.

akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-0
akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-0

Japan and western europe designed to encourage mutual understanding. We spoken in yesterday here in our washington bureau. I asked him about his criticism of the way american businessmen operate you call it money games.
Yes. You feel that american corporations. American businessman american banks spend too much time playing games living burden.
Because because you know in these days. Finally i found basic difference between japanese businessmans attitude and american believing that in this country many times cooperation or company is for elite to manage in japan cooperation or company is not top management cooperation is for good that means all the company employee. Including top management.
So in this country top management. Come into the company and the to show his ability. So that means first time he cleaned up the company with writing off bouncing.
Because thats his photo. Pretties and then he tried to build up company and the show. The profit rotary to do that he does not want to invest money for long pigeon.
So youre saying. The concern is a for the executive himself how much money you can make be short term. Interested in the quarterly profits rather than long term.
Which you would define as what five ten years thats right wait. So then then to make a money easily. He move money rotated money.
Which with which he can make a profit much faster and more than that sometime. He sell company just like a commodity. If one company and ziggy saucer or the vine company.
He related so for me just company is treated like a commodity. But company is good for the people for me this cannot stand to see that because we feel company is just like a family just rightful. We are working together.
So this group of people working same direction should not be treated just like a community you even in your book put it in terms of human rights. You said. The united states claims to be very concerned about human rights.
You wrote a bit as though that is a human rights violation. When they come up close. Though you know thats miles up the entire mister maybe observations if right no no id like you can expand on your observation.
Know theyre in this country if economy is good campaign. I as many million people to the factory and make a more profit product and everything to make up and then recession. Comes management fire.
People. Gave the people to cut down experience. And to keep management.

akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-1
akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-1

So thats means rescission was not hold by these employees rescission come from some severe illness. But it gs employee fire losing business and no still management state to keep his his crew p. So.
I am wondering whether human right. Oh geez employee. How many value you got if american tearing on us human right should be respected.
Well have more of that interview with sony chairman akio morita a little later but first we ask nightline correspondent forrest sawyer to look into mr. Moritas charges that american corporations tend to treat their workers as commodities. Sawyer filed.
This report. I put all my whole heart and soul into that place you know and it let us all down. For 25 years.
Joanne sullivan. Has worked at chicago. Stuart warner corporation.
Along with 46 of her relatives and hundreds of other workers three years ago. She learned the company was sold and the plants operations would eventually move to mexico. Everyone will be laid off you really put a lot on your mind to know that she worked so many years and made so much money for one company and then they just don t.
Like that its a very sad situation joanne sullivan is not alone over the last decade at the us began its biggest economic restructuring in history and corporate profits increased by almost 70 percent an estimated ten million workers were laid off and worker morale plummeted something had to be done about this because theres too many job holding up leaving here. Its not another way out there for everybody you know and were not used to being on welfare. We used to work we dont want no handout.
We just want to work we have declined in our trust and management our belief in the information they give us our belief in their competence and our belief in their respect for us. And what analysts say is another mistake. While workers have struggled just to hold on top level managers have grown rich chief executives of major auto companies can rake in 50 to 500 times.
What the average worker makes top auto executives in japan make only about ten times more than their workers. If you knew you were going to be on the top of any given society. You want to be in america cuz.
The top here is above the top anyplace else almost any way you can think of if you knew youre going to be on the bottom of the society. You would not shoot as the united states you would probably choose japan where the bottom is so high where the lowest workers are treated relatively well compared to the 2000 america. I think rocking the north is like walking in the pond in japan.
Companies like minolta offer a lifetime of security and workers are a part of decision making. But theyre also expected to conform its very paternalistic and you have a dormitory for the young company workers and your boss is supposed to help you find a mate in japan. And before you get married you consult with your boss to see if he would give his blessing to your marriage and oil tea is best shown by working hard very hard vacations are scarce.
12 hour work days are common. I think we work too much it would be good if we had more vacation time. It is a lesson.
The japanese are learning from americans enjoy life more analysts. Say there are lessons for the americans. As well the number one lesson.
We can learn from the japanese and one that we must learn has to do with work involvement at the factory floor and their attention to continuous improvement in their attention to detail some us companies have begun trying japanese management techniques.

akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-2
akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-2

Having workers team up and giving them a bigger say in how things are run. Sometimes. Its worked and sometimes.
It hasnt in part analysts say because the american people are very different from the japanese good ideas may come from japan. They say. But successful changes will have to be made american style forrest sawyer for nightline in new york.
We also in a sony chairman morita about japan bashing in the united states and if he felt there was an element of racism involved that part of our interview. When we return in just a moment continuing our interview. Now with the chairman of the sony corporation akio morita just a couple more questions.
Mr. Morita one how worried are you about japan bashing in this country. Im very much worrying about that because as i said before you know we are really parting and a passion with japan such a thing maybe again.
I mustve just emotional matters. So if we have a program. We have to see look into the program.
More seriously and more deeply together to solve the problem just emotionally bosch as a side is not real solution you bought your company before sony records cbs cbs right yes forgive me and there is a growing sense that japan is buying up some of the cultural icons of the united states. Thats part of the part fear are the antagonism toward japan. Id like to have your reaction to an american audience just to explain what it was you had in mind when he bought cbs records beyond making money you know that they reasonably bought.
The cbs is not not we give we want to give influence the culture. We have to make this company. Happy and the good company prosperous company because we have been having joint venture.
Many times. I found cbs 4 in some management program we wanted to rescue this company and since we acquire cbs cbs doing fantastic job and software build software is a one of the team its true industry for mata to gather the money flew all over the world. It makes eminently good sense as a business proposition.
No one ever questioned it as a business proposition. But there is just this again emotional feeling that perhaps japan is gaining too much control over too. Many american industries.
How do you respond to that i think is country not only japan meaning european country own the company and control the company so i dont think jeff japanese industrial japan will be maybe the biggest one to to have a secure secure asset in this country do you think theres a certain element of races a minute maybe. Thats why im saying still toward to the american general public japanese looks like emma. Which must be changed.
Thats why we thought that that is our responsibility so we form a special organization called council for better cooperative citizenship. I have been running campaign or japanese businessmen. Their family who are moving into this country to be good citizen in the community and if we accumulate such effort maybe in the future americans will feel japanese not alien japanese are just same mankind and partner and the grief.
Then that time if any politician bash. Japan. He is both buildings one of the criticisms.
Americans make of the japanese is that theyve been unfair especially when it comes to giving us. The kind of opportunities in their country. Weve given them in ours jackie jo.

akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-3
akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-3

The collection. The japanese have a master is impressive and for many americans. Maddening landmarks like rockefeller center sold to the japanese for eight hundred forty six million dollars cultural icons.
Like columbia. Pictures keeper of over 2700 films like. Mr smith goes to washington sold to sony for 34.
Billion dollars music like cbs records home to bruce springsteen and michael jackson sold to sony for two billion. The japanese also bought fourteen point seven billion dollars worth of american properties in 1989. They owned an estimated 30 of downtown los angeles will let in some cunt.
The weak beat in the war. There now if theyd let the bombers. Anymore because they own everything america is being ripped off and ill tell you what were not going to have an american ten years if it keeps going like this were a debtor nation and we have to tax we have to tariffs we have to protect this country and nobodys doing it for congresswoman helen bentley.
The japanese went too far when they bought a minor league ball team baseball is americas pastime and now the japanese are in the ballpark in the stands ready to take the field. When willie umpires. Call foul.
The problem as some see it is not keeping japan out. But letting america in to japan. Making it a two way street recently in a meeting that i had with a number of high ranking japanese business executives.
I asked them the question how would they react if colombia bought sony if firestone bought bridge if 40 of downtown tokyo was owned by foreign real estate interests and one of them said that that would be like the occupation. Japan is being hit on another score. A recent magazine article caused a sensation by criticizing japans financial support of some american think tanks.
The reason that we feared. Japan is that we americans see japan is this normal enormous juggernaut bent on world domination and it is simply. Its going to swallow us along with with everyone else but the fact is the us trade deficit with japan is going down us products shipped into the country last year jumped almost fifteen percent.
The japanese employed tens of thousands of workers in this country. They financed a portion of the budget deficit last year. And without japanese money.
Us interest rates. Undoubtedly would be higher and another thing. Japan is woken up some formally complacent us industries.
Our cars are every bit as as a japanese you know why and we got more air bags. We got more anti lock brakes. We go i think we should look at them as pest competitors.
I think instead of using the war in the great trade war. We should use a sporting imagery. Maybe think of it in terms of something like big ten football where everybody plays very hard everybody gets bloody perhaps then bruised.
But everybody survives it and along the way the home team could work out a little harder. Although not all the problems are of our own making most of the solutions are within our control is it possible then theres something positive to be learned from all of this it seems so. But it also seems that our competitor will continue to be targeted and reminded ironically of the famous japanese proverb.
The nail that sticks out gets hammered down this is jackie judd for nightline in washington. Well be back. .

akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-4
akio morita is best known as the engineer who invented the sony walkman in the late 1970s.-4

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