sony-organizational-structure

Sony organizational structure

Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates geographical divisions. In 2021, Sony announced the overhauling of its organizational structure, changing its name from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better identify itself as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies skewing the company toward product divisions.

Understanding Sony’s organizational structure

Sony, formally known as Sony Group Corporation, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo.

The company has interests in several consumer and professional electronics markets, such as video games, digital cameras, televisions, audio equipment, music production, digital storage, and healthcare biotechnology.

At the peak of its powers, Sony was dubbed the “corporate octopus” for its sprawling and diverse number of ventures across many unrelated industries. With that said, the rest of this article will explain how the company structures these various pursuits.

What is Sony’s organizational structure?

Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates some geographical divisions. 

Function-based groups

To support function-based efficiency and effectiveness, Sony is driven by the following functional groups:

  • Research & Development.
  • Finance.
  • Legal, Compliance, Corporate Communications, CSR, External Relations, Information Security & Privacy.
  • CEO.
  • Engineering.
  • New Business (Strategy).
  • Human Resources & General Affairs.
  • Sales & Marketing.

Product/business divisions

As of October 2021, Sony has the following product/business divisions:

  1. Game & Network Services – Sony Interactive Entertainment.
  2. Music – Sony Music Group (Global), Sony Music Entertainment Japan.
  3. Pictures – Sony Pictures Entertainment.
  4. Electronics Products & Solutions – Sony Corporation.
  5. Imaging & Sensing Solutions – Sony Semiconductor Solutions.
  6. Financial Services – Sony Financial Group.

In most cases, each division contains a few holding companies that themselves contain related businesses. For example, Columbia Records is part of the Sony Music Group.

Each division is also headed by what Sony calls an “officer in charge”.

Geographic divisions

Geographic divisions are most relevant in terms of finance, planning, and strategy. These include:

  • Asia-Pacific.
  • Europe.
  • China.
  • United States.
  • Japan.
  • Other Areas.

Revisions to Sony’s organizational structure

In April 2021, Sony announced that it would be overhauling its organizational structure.

As part of the overhaul, the company changed its name from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better identify itself as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies. Coinciding with this move was the renaming of Sony Electronics Corporation to Sony Corporation – a product-based division we mentioned earlier.

Sony also announced that it would be changing the executive structure of each of the businesses contained in its six product-based divisions. For example, all businesses under the Imaging & Sensing Solutions division would establish their own executive structures. The executive teams were comprised of existing functional group leaders, with each team handed some degree of authority to promote more efficient decision-making within the company.

Key takeaways:

  • Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates geographical divisions.
  • Function-based groups include CEO, Research & Development, Finance, Engineering, and Human Resources & General Affairs. Sony also operates six key product-based divisions: Game & Network Services, Music, Pictures, Electronics Products & Solutions, Imaging & Sensing Solutions, and Financial Services.
  • Sony also has six geographic divisions and made some changes to its organizational structure in 2021. Chief among these was the renaming of some business units and the establishment of executive teams for each holding company.

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Airbnb Organizational Structure

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Airbnb follows a holacracy model, or a sort of flat organizational structure, where teams are organized for projects, to move quickly and iterate fast, thus keeping a lean and flexible approach. Airbnb also moved to a hybrid model where employees can work from anywhere and meet on a quarterly basis to plan ahead, and connect to each other.

eBay Organizational Structure

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eBay was until recently a multi-divisional (M-form) organization with semi-autonomous units grouped according to the services they provided. Today, eBay has a single division called Marketplace, which includes eBay and its international iterations.

IBM Organizational Structure

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IBM has an organizational structure characterized by product-based divisions, enabling its strategy to develop innovative and competitive products in multiple markets. IBM is also characterized by function-based segments that support product development and innovation for each product-based division, which include Global Markets, Integrated Supply Chain, Research, Development, and Intellectual Property.

Sony Organizational Structure

sony-organizational-structure
Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates geographical divisions. In 2021, Sony announced the overhauling of its organizational structure, changing its name from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better identify itself as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies skewing the company toward product divisions.

Facebook Organizational Structure

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Facebook is characterized by a multi-faceted matrix organizational structure. The company utilizes a flat organizational structure in combination with corporate function-based teams and product-based or geographic divisions. The flat organization structure is organized around the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, and the key executives around him. On the other hand, the function-based teams based on the main corporate functions (like HR, product management, investor relations, and so on).

Google Organizational Structure

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Google (Alphabet) has a cross-functional (team-based) organizational structure known as a matrix structure with some degree of flatness. Over the years, as the company scaled and it became a tech giant, its organizational structure is morphing more into a centralized organization.

Tesla Organizational Structure

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Tesla is characterized by a functional organizational structure with aspects of a hierarchical structure. Tesla does employ functional centers that cover all business activities, including finance, sales, marketing, technology, engineering, design, and the offices of the CEO and chairperson. Tesla’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, decide the strategic direction of the company, with international operations given little autonomy.

McDonald’s Organizational Structure

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McDonald’s has a divisional organizational structure where each division – based on geographical location – is assigned operational responsibilities and strategic objectives. The main geographical divisions are the US, internationally operated markets, and international developmental licensed markets. And on the other hand, the hierarchical leadership structure is organized around regional and functional divisions.

Walmart Organizational Structure

walmart-organizational-structure
Walmart has a hybrid hierarchical-functional organizational structure, otherwise referred to as a matrix structure that combines multiple approaches. On the one hand, Walmart follows a hierarchical structure, where the current CEO Doug McMillon is the only employee without a direct superior, and directives are sent from top-level management. On the other hand, the function-based structure of Walmart is used to categorize employees according to their particular skills and experience.

Microsoft Organizational Structure

microsoft-organizational-structure
Microsoft has a product-type divisional organizational structure based on functions and engineering groups. As the company scaled over time it also became more hierarchical, however still keeping its hybrid approach between functions, engineering groups, and management.

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