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Norio Ohga obit

NORIO OHGA, 81, who initiated the acquisitions of CBS Records and Columbia Pictures during his long tenure as Chairman/CEO of Sony Corp., died on Saturday from multiple organ failure in Tokyo. Along with his forays into music (Sony bought CBS Records for $2 billion in 1988) and movies (Colpix went for $3.4 billion in 1989), Ohga played a key role in the development of the CD.  Said current Sony head Howard Stringer in a statement issued by the company, it was Ohga’s vision that drove “Sony’s evolution beyond audio and video products into music, movies and game, and subsequent transformation into a global entertainment leader.” Ohga summed up his business philosophy with a succinct analogy: “Hardware and software are two wheels on a car.” But the approach he championed wasn’t fully realized until the last decade, when Apple created the iPod and a sleek way to fill it with content in ther form of the iTunes Store. “Sony was a great product company, and Ohga made it better,” MIT professor Michael Cusumano told the N.Y. Times. “But Sony did not really get software or the Internet. That wasn’t Ohga’s domain.” (4/25a)

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