3 years ago

Day 1 - IFA International

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MEET THE VISIONARIES New CEO for Sharp Electronics Europe Toshiyuki Tajima Toshiyuki Tajima is Group Deputy General Manager and CEO Europe, International Business Group, and Chairman (products) of Sharp Electronics (Europe). Born February 8th 1947, Mr Tajima has a long and illustrious background with Sharp Corporation, joining the company in 1969. Already in 1995, Mr Tajima was named President of Sharp Electronics (Europe) GmbH, following which he was named as CEO of European Operations and Chairman of Sharp Electronics (Europe) GmbH. In 1999, he crossed the Atlantic and became CEO of American Operations and Chairman of Sharp Electronics Corp. Coming back to Europe in 2004, Mr Tajima worked as President of Sharp Telecommunications Europe for two years before taking on the highly specific role of President of Sharp Manufacturing Poland Sp.zo.o. Finally, in 2007, Mr Tajima was, for the second time in ten years, named CEO of European Operations and Chairman of Sharp Electronics (Europe) GmbH, while retaining a Chairmanship role in the Polish operation. From 1 st July Toshiyuki Tajima took on the responsibility for all European Sharp Sales Subsidiaries and Operations. Toshiyuki Tajima is Chairman and Managing Director of Sharp Electronics (Europe) GmbH and, at the same time, Chairman of Sharp Manufacturing Poland Sp. The 60-year-old Japanese has been with Sharp since 1969. In the past years he was CEO of Sharp USA, President of Sharp Telecommunications in Europe and, lastly, President of the Sharp LCD module factory in Torun, Poland. Mr Tajima, please tell us how Sharp sees the European LCD market at this point in time... The LCD TV boom has only just begun and I believe Europe is a market which is only just awaking. This is why we are concentrating on Europe as the LCD TV market of the future. Our decision to be the first company in the world to concentrate solely on LCD TVs caused a few sniggers at the time, yet we are now one of the most successful LCD companies in the world. We set new standards with large screen diagonals, HD panels with 100 Hz technology and contemporary design. In Bluray technology we also offer the ideal partner for the complete Full-HD experience. A major news item this year has been the official opening of the SMPL (Crystal Park) plant in Poland, where Sharp produces LCD modules and TVs. Why is this so important? For 2007, we expect LCD TV demand to reach 27 million units in Europe. With the factory in Torun we want, on the one hand, to be able to better meet the high demand for LCD TVs in Western Europe while reducing the time to market. On the other hand, we are deliberately investing in Eastern Europe with this factory, since countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary or Slovakia belong to the fast growing European LCD TV markets which will gain more and more importance in the future. In the latest major revelation, Sharp has just announced the upcoming construction of the world’s first tenth-generation LCD plant and the world’s largest solar cell plant in Japan. This is big news! Yes, we wanted to combine both technology areas to set up an “industrial park for the 21 st century”. The glass coating technology applied here is the same for both, the production of LCD panels as well as the production of thin-film solar cells. In addition to production advantages resulting from the combined utilisation of materials and machines, synergy effects occur from which both, the production of thin-film solar cells and the production of LCD panels, will benefit. Besides the two stateof-the-art plants, the 1.27 million square-metre industrial park will have room for suppliers supporting the entire production process as well as further infrastructure; providing a time and cost advantage. Furthermore, CO2 emission will be avoided due to the vertically integrated method of production. With this, Sharp not only emphasises its innovation leadership but also supports its claim to be an environmentally friendly company. Just how important is Europe in Sharp’s global plan? Europe is one of the major foreign markets for our company worldwide. In the past fiscal year we achieved a 14 per cent increase in European sales. My goal is to further push this growth in the two-digit range in the next few years. Sharp sees Europe as the market of the future!. By focusing our activities on the profitable European key markets of Solar Systems, Document Solutions and LCD TV, we have almost doubled sales on the continent within the past three fiscal years. With sales amounting to 3.4 billion euros and operating profits reaching 52.5 million euros in fiscal 2006, business here in Europe accounts for 26 per cent of Sharp’s total business outside Japan. 10 IFA International • Friday, 31 th August 2007

MEET THE VISIONARIES “...Lifestyle is about fashion, art and emotion...” Rudy Provoost Rudy Provoost is Chief Executive Officer of Philips Consumer Electronics and a member of the Board of Management. Mr. Provoost began his professional career in 1984 with Procter & Gamble Benelux in Management Systems and worked for a number of years as a project manager on various finance, operations and marketing and sales assignments. In 1987, he joined Canon Belgium as Marketing Planning Manager, and later became Sales and Marketing Manager for the Reprographics division. In 1989, he was appointed General Manager Marketing for all business operations. After joining Whirlpool he went on to become Vice-President Whirlpool Brand Group for Europe. In October 2000, he joined Philips as Executive Vice- President of Consumer Electronics in Europe. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Global Sales and Services for Consumer Electronics, as well as Senior Vice-President and member of the Group Management Committee in August 2003. In 2004, he became Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Electronics division. In April 2006, he was appointed a member of the Board of Management. The fact that Wong Kar Wai is going to be involved in promoting the TVs at IFA is an extremely interesting way of differentiating Philips as being “art oriented”. We asked Mr Provoost to tell us about the company’s current strategy in this sense... For us IFA is an absolute milestone this year because we are launching the next generation of Ambilight, which we call Aurea. The Aurea launch is really about the ultimate TV experience. Essentially we are launching the product under the umbrella of a campaign called “Seduction by Light”, which is about finding the match between the art and science of the consumer experience, about the fusion of fashion and function. If you want to create a complete experience with light, sound and image in a unique way, you need to work with the masters of seduction. That’s why we have chosen to team up with different people like Wong Kar Wai on the TV campaign, who is making a special movie completely dedicated to Aurea. We work with the kind of people who know what seduction and emotion truly are, and in that sense it is a very unique campaign. We are redefining the boundaries of what TV is all about. Lifestyle is about fashion, art and emotion, and that is what we are radiating and bringing to life through the world premiere at IFA. Philips is announcing an extraordinary innovation using the works of a French digital artist, Patrick Goubet in the digital photo frames to celebrate the sale of the millionth frame. Why has Philips decided to include this dynamic art on the photo frames? We are determined to redefine ourselves as a lifestyle company and in order to achieve that, art, fashion and design are important ingredients. We bring these ingredients together. We also do that with the partnership with Swarowski. Digital photo frames are not so much about displays but about people bringing digital memories to life. In that sense we are very much on the emotional side and working together with ArtDisplay is a nice way to make another statement. The millionth digital photo frame is a great opportunity to act as a platform to bring the artistic and technological aspects of our business together. In your keynote, you will explain will how Philips differentiates itself from the competition. Can you give us a little foretaste of the presentation? In Consumer Electronics, the industry tends to talk too much about electronics and not enough about consumers. In that sense, we have been looking at our business much more through the lens of what consumers aspire to in terms of lifestyle. So I am going to bring the theme of lifestyle to life, articulating around what lifestyle stands for, which is people pursuing well being, a good combination of wellness and pleasure. We identified four major areas that correspond to the concept of lifestyle: my space, my body, my mind and my appearence. There are some brands that are active in one of these areas, but we think we can fire on all cylinders, we believe we are a very unique company and we have a very unique position. I am going to elaborate about personal and environmental well-being. With our keynote we want to challenge some of the existing paradigms of the industry, just like we did last year. What things amaze you today in Consumer Electronics? Is there still anything today that makes you say “Wow!” when you look out there? One of the things that keep fascinating me is the speed and the rhythm of change. It amazes me to think that the CD was born just 25 years ago! If you think about where we are today, in a world where internet is giving impulses all the time, and where content is finding its way through many different combinations of software and hardware, it is a fascinating world. The speed, magnitude and impact of the change are tremendous. This also means that lifecycles are getting shorter and that commoditisation remains a threat all the time. In that sense, we believe we should continue to differentiate ourselves and there is a tremendous opportunity there. On a more visionary note, what would you say are the biggest challenges that face the industry today? I think the biggest challenge will be to keep creating value for consumers and avoid commoditisation, which is our biggest enemy. At the same time I consider it as an invitation to innovate. Outpacing and outperforming the competitors is one thing, but amazing consumers is what our business is all about. In that sense the industry will be forced to put the consumer more at the centre and de-emphasize the consumer part in Consumer Electronics. That will require a totally different landscape and totally different companies joining forces along the value chain, which has to do with bringing together content in surprising ways with a great user interface. IFA International • Friday, 31 th August 2007 11

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