Nobuyuki Idei, who led Japan’s Sony from 1998 through 2005, steering its growth in the digital and entertainment businesses, has died. He was 84. During his seven years as CEO from 1998, Mr Idei made an immense contribution to Sony’s evolution as a global company. Tokyo-based Sony is among Japan’s stellar brands, having brought the world the Walkman portable music player.
Idei joined Sony in 1960, after graduating from Tokyo’s prestigious Waseda University, and worked in its audio and video divisions. He was appointed president in 1995, and is credited with being behind hit products such as the Vaio laptop. Idei pushed Sony’s digital operations under the slogan Digital Dream Kids. He also accelerated Sony’s global expansion, including the PlayStation video game business, and Sony’s sprawling entertainment empire that includes music and movies.