Senior UK Sony Mobile Executives depart in restructure

by XB on 23rd October 2015

in News

senior_sony_figures_departSony Mobile is undertaking a restructuring programme in Europe that has seen two senior Executives depart the business. Catherine Cherry, UK & Benelux Marketing Director and Nigel Whitehead, Head of Retail and Distribution have both left the organisation according to Mobile Today.

Both were long-timers at Sony, with Cherry spending 12 years at the company whilst Whitehead worked at Sony for eight years. This news follows the departure of Pierre Perron, Sony Mobile President of North West Europe in May this year.

Cherry was a key figure behind the recent UK advertising campaign making your “everyday extraordinary”, featuring real users and was given a sizeable marketing budget. In terms of retail and distribution, the Xperia Z5 launch has been “criticised by a number of industry insiders for being overly expensive” according to Mobile Today.

A statement from Sony (see below) reaffirms that Europe “will continue to be a key region for Sony Mobile going forwards” with the recent changes made to “drive transformation and profitability” within Sony Mobile. See the full statement below.

Sony statement on European restructuring

“The organisational change in EMEA is part of the ongoing measures to drive transformation and profitability within Sony Mobile, based on the CEO’s management strategy announced in November last year. The re-grouping of customer units into regions is one of the important measures to allow better prioritisation of marketing efforts, as well as more efficient allocation of resources, therefore strengthening Sony’s position within EMEA, which will continue to be a key region for Sony Mobile going forwards.”

Via Mobile Today.

  • Svnjay

    “the Xperia Z5 launch has been “criticised by a number of industry insiders for being overly expensive” according to Mobile Today.”

    I disagree. Sony barely markets their devices so it’s great that they decided to put more money into it this time around.

  • Raj Singh

    Sony Mobile has a marketing budget? Must be a slush fund because I don’t see their marketing anywhere other than on YouTube where you have to find it yourself. I like their hardware but I can’t stand their business acumen, or lack thereof.

  • azzido

    Unfortunately most of marketing budget was spent on silly Bond advertisnment which is one of the worst adverts for any mobile device so far… It was a bad move, it should be rather spent to produce an epic TV advert and market is stronger on TV and billboards. Even Z3 had better adverts with nice music etc… I bought this phone only for being a fan of brand, but if I had to make a choice baised on adverts only, after seeing this por Bond one I would definitely skip it and welcome competition brands. Sad bit true.

    Marketing is going really bad way :/

  • azzido

    yes, but most of this money was lost on silly Bond avdert, especially the last seconds that the phone is being presented looks very bad – for example Orange Poland…

  • nfs2010

    They need to fire their whole US mobile business unit (assuming they have one in the first place lol). But I can say only good things about their US customer service.

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    My first Xperia device was the Xperia Z, and I only saw my first Xperia commercial that wasn’t on YouTube, last week. For the Z5, in James Bond.

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  • Alvin

    And me, since z3, never see any of sony commercials again

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    It’s a shame because Sony on general makes great commercials for all their devices

  • iia3ezu

    Japs and Jap companies love to ‘restructure’ (‘risutora’ = that means retrenching personnel) and cut costs when times are tough.

    Those MBA-type native Jap schmucks high in the hierarchy will then form a ‘steering committee’ or something similar to ‘streamline operations’.

    It happens all the time.

  • bilomar

    Update center on z3 got a update

  • Alvin

    yeah, especially that amazing z commercial back in 2013… that promotes every sony products

  • H-R-K

    I don’t understand what they are doing but they need to step up into the game.

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    Is that real? I don’t remember seeing that one

  • cicababa

    I’ve never seen any Sony Mobile ad :D

    Anyhow, IMO they should add some after sale support for low budget devices. Viral marketing nowadays is very important and at this moment I’m cursing Sony everywhere because of the lack of support for my E4. And I’m not alone at all.

  • kj marway

    I knew both Nigel and Catherine from my time at Sony (Ericsson) Mobile. Both deeply knowledgeable, I wish them both the very best in their future endeavours.

  • dragonsneeze

    Well, I saw original Z, Z2 and Z3 and M4 aq commercials on TV, Xperia U before that. But they are very short lived except the Z and the production quality is superb on these ads. Also the product placement in TV shows are pretty weak, all I see are Sams, iPhones even HTC but Sony doesn’t use a lot of product placement on TV. The “Powers” show was full of Xperia though. It was fun :)

  • Rizky Maulana

    My first xperia was mini, no have ane tv commercial.
    But im still have it and love it… My precios :*

  • Alvin

    “blue, blue, electric blue. that’s the colour of my room, where i will live”.

  • Alvin

    mini pro for me… still love that cute tiny little thing. :”)

  • Hieu Nguyen

    I love this ad a lot. I feel like half of the ad’s views are mine :3

  • Ryuzaki Raiga

    and the bond the didn’t like it

  • kaostheory

    If they want to save advertising, why don’t they add a blurb on the end of the PS4 commercials, something like “now playing via your new Z5”

  • Ryuzaki Raiga

    if u want to buy any electronic device. please avoid entry level (the cheapest). not just sony all brand out there except microsoft and asus

  • Ryuzaki Raiga

    the problem is the jap higher up didn’t understand/know what customer want. at least still better than blackberry which is sinking ship right now

  • Alvin

    no, not half… because that 7/8 of the ad’s views are ftom me

  • Timel

    Wanna see Sony do the same as Samsung, I mean you know I see Samsung team up and work closely with major carriers such as at&t and verizon for selling the Galaxy flagship phones, people also see Samsung Galaxy devices ads everywhere, in the bus, at train station, Samsung billboards in every big cities, YouTube ads, TV commercials, Samsung Galaxy is also one of the biggest sponsor of Oscar awards, MTV video music Awards and Superbowl even in mega blockbuster movies like the avengers and jurassic world

    SAMSUNG go hard with maketing in the U.S. because Samsung that the whole world is watching USA that’s why Samsung Galaxy becomes one the most successful brand in the world now

    Hopefully Sony will get the point and then focus with maketing like Samsung have always done

  • cicababa

    why should i? sony is the holy and mighty sony, they care about their customers, aren’t they? :-p

    anyhow before E4 i had a cheap chinese device which was better almost in any aspects than my friend’s z3 :(

  • Raj Singh

    Not good enough. That should be everywhere… globally.

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  • Kunal Shukla

    i turn on the TV watching a cricket match and there is Galaxy S6 advertisement every over which is a phone launched almost 6-7 months back. Z5 advertisement is nowhere to be seen sony got to realize people don’t get to know when their devices are launched. Last Xperia advertisement was for Xperia Z and it did sell well in india

  • Kunal Shukla

    forgot to mention Bravia TV advertising is still very good may be sony isn’t really focusing on it’s mobile division

  • goldenblls

    The ads can be too stylish and not aggressive enough. It’s dog eat dog out there.

  • Roh_Mish

    They have this bravia ads with showcase colours here in which hey have some kids playing with colors, it does not have any story but is heart touching. Their ads are great in general. I have only seen a z1 ad when it was released but that was nowhere near the standard of ad I expect from Sony. Heck, I see ads for nexus devices daily now and had previously seen nexus 6 afs multiple times.

  • Roh_Mish

    Sony makes high quality ads with great production value and heart touching script. Even for phones. But what’s the use if you don’t get adtime for it.

  • Roh_Mish

    If you buy Chinese device, you don’t except good support for high end either. Take Xiaomi, shitty customer service and they haven’t released 5.0 for mi3 or 4 yet. And those are this year’s and last years flagship from them. Both on 4.4
    Source- I bought one as secondary device to see how good (or bad) is it

  • Roh_Mish

    Remember the “rango ka mela hain” ad? I have seen people cry (because it touched their heart.) after seeing that. (Really) that’s how you make a good ad. And Sony is doing it for years. Remember the holy ad the had for z2 or z3? Too bad it didn’t got any air time.

  • jeremy_inc

    Xperia sponsors the Champions League and they have Z5 adverts on the tube.I never saw Z3 adverts but the Z5 seems to be getting more advertising budget

  • Cakefish

    I’ve seen billboards of Sony phones here in UK.

  • Its a marketing perception that if its selling well then dont market the product aggressively but here the world learns from Sony that even if its not even selling, dont ever market it whatsoever.

  • Kunal Shukla

    i never saw any Ad on tv for z2 and z3. Only Xperia Z the one featuring katrina kaif

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  • Roh_Mish

    Not for z3 but there were some short lived ads for z2 though.

  • azzido

    The point is people doesn’t care about Bond and so on, and Sony spent (lost) 18M $ on it…

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  • azzido

    Except Z3+ or Z5…

  • azzido

    To be honest it is a good decision, especially last year in terms of marketing it was bad.
    Quick review of their marketing:

    Z – Great, huge, market building, new brand recognition, everywhere
    Z1 – smaller, but was still upped by previous Z campaign that was remembered by clients
    Z2 – marketing budget cost, but device was very well at this time (still is) so sold well
    Z3 – very well TV campaign, great spot accompanied with wonderful song
    Z4 / Z3+ – marketing non existing
    Z5 – bad marketing, the ugliest commercial combined with Bond (probably most cost was spent on license so not much left for rest), if I not be the Xperia Z fan this advertisnment would rather put me off Sony phones than attract me as customer. How to spend a lot of money and do not profit bible.

    X – back to “marketing non existing”

    Z6 – hope it will come and money saved on cutting the costs on X series marketing will pump Z6 campaign too as they need another Z campaign as well as adequate device.

  • azzido
  • azzido
  • azzido

    It is not difficult to have great marketing if you have a huge budget like samsung or apple,
    it is difficult to have a great marketing if you have a small budget.

    Consider this: mobile division is making loss, not profit, if you want to profit you need to invest money, but you do not have money. What would you do?

    Then, add that even if you take a credit and then have a lot of money, lot of money does not always mean you will profit if the money will be spent wrong. As a result you will not profit, you will have less money (fixed costs) and a credit in addition. What would you do?

    Now imagine Sony Mobile and its current bad situation. You want to make a turnover.

    1 of potential solutions is to again try harder on a high end segment + invest(spend) more money on people, on marketing etc and compete on a high end segment. It is risky, but can result in a turnover, brand builder and profit.

    The other solution may be agressive cost reduction, resign from high-end segment and focus on low / mid-end devices only. This can result in less loss, stagnation (no loss but no profit) or small profit. In a short range strategy it may be fine, for example if you are planning to abandon the investition, cut it down. But in a long term strategy it may turn out that you will build your brand – among cheap chinese brands with products for 3rd world only and will no longer be able to go back to high-end segment as your reputation, recognition will be “the cheap and/or bad one”.

    One way or another.

    There are several more approaches, but I would rather use a combination: focus on high end and cut the costs whenever it is not required. Decrease amount of devices each year. This is the only thing to follow Apple, to be similar – how many devices Apple is releasing each year? Thank you.

    It is not about the number, it is about the support, the treatment, they simply try to get the best from it, especially in terms of software. They have more time to prototype and create new device, with new ideas, put innovations in there, upgrade both hardware and software. It is also cheaper to advertise less amount of devices each year. This is why a good idea is to stick with 3 devices: small, medium and big one as a maximum. Great tablet? Cool but 1 each 1,5year or even 2 years would be fine. Less devices means also less money needs to be spend on marketing and support.

    I can see a huge improvement in Support Center, it is good now. But expect the same from software division. The only good thing is the timing devices are supported, 2 years is fine and something that should be even advertised.

    Not only marketing had its down in Sony, communication seems to be bad.
    People like to be informed, and Sony is not only avoiding to provide at least a month for upcoming software updates, but it is even wrongly communicating about its future plans with customers (example: different Sony divisions claiming opposite: there will be no Z6 vs X is not replacing Z series). Seems there is not even internal communication about how and what communicate with the clients, press etcc :/ at least no common communication.
    1 and only good thing about communication (that improved) is Sony people started to talk to people at least on shows like MWC or IFA, not closing in the offices. Like the one about continuation of omni balance design = it is not about if we like this decision or not, it is about there was some information which is always better than no information at all.
    To many things people are getting informed by “rumors”, by “other sites”, but not from Sony dirctly. There are too many questions from customers that are not receiving answers.

    It seems for now there is no vision at Sony Mobile, the company does not know which way to go. Does not know how to communicate. And the roadmap splits into many roots of Tree.
    As many as upcoming devices planned.

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