Sony B&P President Retires

Sony Business Solutions Division President John Scarcella will take on the responsibilities of president of the Broadcast and Professional Systems Division when Pat Whittingham retires on Jan. 5. The move illustrates the increasing consolidation at Sony.

Broadcast-related sales have slumped in recent years, and, while Sony is still No. 1 in the industry in many ways, the Business and Professional division has been reduced to a company that sells cameras and switchers.

A further sign of consolidation was the announcement last week that the Broadcast and Production Systems division will manage U.S. sales and distribution of Sony Media Software's professional video- and audio-production tools in the pro-A/V, music-industry and government channels. The products encompass all the former desktop-software assets of Sonic Foundry, acquired by Sony Pictures Digital in July, and include such tools as Vegas, Vegas + DVD, Sound Forge and ACID.

Whittingham has accepted the early-retirement package offered to almost all Sony employees who are over the age of 50 and have been with the company for more than five years. Rick Clancy, Sony senior vice president, corporate communications, says Whittingham's retirement is strictly a personal decision.

In a memo to staffers, Sony Electronics President and COO Dick Komiyama said, "I know this has been a very difficult decision for Pat given his optimism for the future outlook of the Broadcast and Professional Systems Division, his enjoyment of the business, as well as the many friends he and his wife Eleanor have made since coming to the U.S. nearly three years ago."

Whittingham was named president in June 2002, succeeding Ed Grebow, who had left Sony to head New York City's Metropolitan TV Alliance. Whittingham has been with Sony for 29 years, serving as executive vice president of Sony Canada and senior vice president and senior general manager of the Sony Systems Solutions Division. He plans to return to Toronto.

"I expect to be totally bored by late spring," Whittingham says, "and looking for a new opportunity hopefully related to the broadcast and production industries that I have followed so closely."

Komiyama says Scarcella, with the current management team, "will continue the regeneration initiative under way to secure Sony's No. 1 position in the content-creation and professional display business."

Like Whittingham, Scarcella worked for Grebow, serving as senior vice president of the Broadcast Solutions and Systems Co., with responsibility for sales, marketing, systems and service for the company's broadcast and professional products. He joined Sony in 1985.