Continuing its selloff from 2013 as part of its struggles to downsize, former Japanese giant Sony announced it is selling off its former Tokyo headquarters.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "[Japanese] media reacted to the sale...with some emotion, describing the move as selling of Sony's 'birthplace' and saying there's no 'sacred cow' for the company's restructuring efforts." The company demurred, saying that the real birthplace of its most iconic products is now its corporate museum and is not for sale.
The sale of the former headquarters will net only ~$145 million, a small fraction of the $1.1 billion each that Sony got from the sale of its former U.S. headquarters on Madison Avenue in Manhattan and from one of its main Tokyo buildings, both sold in 2013.
These aren't good signs for photo enthusiasts. Like 'em or not, it can't be denied that Sony is driving a lot of delight in the photo-enthusiast encampment, entertaining and enriching us with innovative products in a so-far unceasing parade. The excellent-selling a7 and a7r, among the first interchangeable-lens full-frame mirrorless cameras, are only the latest in a long line. I just hope we don't reach a point where we have to depend on Canikon for interesting new products. That would be engaging. Anyone?
(Thanks to Howard Linton)
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Bob Blakley: "I have two reactions to this. 1.) I don't care if Sony still cameras go away tomorrow. But I care a lot if Sony video cameras go away. Sony has done more than any other manufacturer to make really excellent high-quality digital video cameras available to filmmakers on a budget. Losing this would be a huge blow. 2. If Sony disappears, it amplifies my fundamental criticism of the company: their commitment to proprietary technology is a huge negative for their customers. If the brand vanishes, 100% of the customers' investment is at risk, because their batteries, memory devices, cables, microphones, lenses, etc. are all non-interchangeable with anything else on the planet. Frownie face."