Akio Morita

By: Mandy Leonard

He is most commonly known as the man behind Sony. Originally groomed to take over the family sake- brewing company, Morita's entrepreneurial vision has created one of the technology giants of our time. Co founding the company with Masaru Ibuka, they strived to provide consumers with products of the best quality and technology available.

He changed the accepted marketing concepts and focussed on brand-name identification and brand responsibility - a concept widely used today but virtually unheard of then. By insisting on producing high quality products with cutting edge technology, Morita transformed the reputation of the Japanese technology industry so that it became associated with superior quality rather than inexpensive copies. As he himself said, "[They] made Sony the Cadillac of electronics."

Morita also understood the impact of globalization and in the 1960 expanded Sony into the US. He even moved his family there to gain an understanding of the culture and customs vital to the company's international survival. His success in the US meant that Sony became the first Japanese company to offer shares on the New York stock market, changing the way Japanese companies raised foreign capital forever. Thanks to his vision and passion, Sony is now recognized as one of the top brand names in the world for electronics and music to name but a couple.