Sony has appointed one of its presidents to oversee product quality and safety, the first time such a high-level member of staff has taken that position at the company.
The new role for Makoto Kogure’s, who was president of Sony’s TV division, came as the company deals with the fallout of two recalls in recent weeks of laptop computer batteries that included Lithium Ion cells that it produced.
The first, on Aug. 15, saw Dell recall up to 4.1 million laptop batteries because of a potential fire hazard. Then on Aug. 24 Apple said it was recalling 1.8 million batteries for the same reason. Sony has estimated the recalls will cost it between ¥20 billion and ¥30 billion (US$171 million to $256 million).
The battery problem isn’t the sole reason for Kogure’s appointment, the Tokyo company said.
“Obviously the batteries are an issue but it’s not intended that he will focus on batteries and batteries alone,” said Gerald Cavanagh, a spokesman for Sony in Tokyo. “It’s something we’ve been wanting to upgrade for sometime and batteries will be one of the responsibilities.”