Sony Group Corporation
Sony Group Corporation (ソニーグループ株式会社, Sonī Gurūpu kabushiki gaisha, /ˈsoʊni/ SOH-nee, commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. The company operates as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer and professional electronic products, the largest video game console company, the second largest video game publisher, the second largest record company, as well as one of the most comprehensive media companies, being the largest Japanese media conglomerate by size overtaking the privately held, family-owned Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, the largest Japanese media conglomerate by revenue.
Sony, with its 50 percent market share in the image sensor market, is among the semiconductor sales leaders and, as of 2015, the fifth-largest television manufacturer in the world by annual sales figures. It is the world’s largest player in the premium TV market, a market for a television of at least 55 inches (140 centimeters) with a price higher than $2,500.
Sony Group Corporation is the holding company of the Sony Group (ソニー・グループ, Sonī Gurūpu), which comprises Sony Corporation, Sony Semiconductor Solutions, Sony Pictures, Sony Music, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony Financial Holdings, and others.
Sony has a weak tie to the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) corporate group, the successor to the Mitsui group. Sony is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (in which it is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX Core30 indexes) with an additional listing in the form of American depositary receipts listed in the New York Stock Exchange (traded since 1970, making it the oldest Japanese company to be listed in an American exchange), and was ranked 122nd on the 2020 Fortune Global 500 list.
|Sonī Gurūpu kabushiki kaisha|
|Formerly||Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, Ltd. (1946–1957)
Sony Corporation (1957–2021)
|Founded||7 May 1946
Nihonbashi, Chūō, Tokyo, Japan
(Chairman of the board)
(Vice Chairman of the board)
(Chairman, President & CEO)
|Revenue|| ¥8.259 trillion
($80 billion) (2020)
|¥894.2 billion (2019)|
|¥916.2 billion (2019)|
|Total assets||¥23.039 trillion (2020)|
|Total equity||¥3.746 trillion (2019)|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||See list of subsidiaries|
Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo
Sony began in the wake of World War II. In 1946, Masaru Ibuka started an electronics shop in Shirokiya, a department store building in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. The company started with a capital of ¥190,000 and a total of eight employees. On 7 May 1946, Ibuka was joined by Akio Morita to establish a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (東京通信工業, Tōkyō Tsūshin Kōgyō) (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The company built Japan’s first tape recorder, called the Type-G. In 1958, the company changed its name to “Sony”.
When Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was looking for a romanized name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. The primary reason they did not is that the railway company Tokyo Kyuko was known as TTK. The company occasionally used the acronym “Totsuko” in Japan, but during his visit to the United States, Morita discovered that Americans had trouble pronouncing that name. Another early name that was tried out for a while was “Tokyo Teletech” until Akio Morita discovered that there was an American company already using Teletech as a brand name.
The name “Sony” was chosen for the brand as a mix of two words: one was the Latin word “sonus“, which is the root of sonic and sound, and the other was “sonny“, a common slang term used in 1950s America to call a young boy. In 1950s Japan, “sonny boys” was a loan word in Japanese, which connoted smart and presentable young men, which Sony founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka considered themselves to be.
At the time of the change, it was extremely unusual for a Japanese company to use Roman letters to spell its name instead of writing it in kanji. The move was not without opposition: TTK’s principal bank at the time, Mitsui, had strong feelings about the name. They pushed for a name such as Sony Electronic Industries, or Sony Teletech. Akio Morita was firm, however, as he did not want the company name tied to any particular industry. Eventually, both Ibuka and Mitsui Bank’s chairman gave their approval.