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.

DepartmentType of StructureStructure DetailsAdvantagesDrawbacks
Corporate LeadershipHierarchySony’s corporate leadership operates within a hierarchical structure. It typically includes the CEO, senior executives, and various departments such as electronics, gaming, entertainment, and finance.– Clear lines of authority and accountability. – Efficient decision-making process. – Well-defined roles and responsibilities.Potential slow decision-making due to multiple levels of approval. Limited flexibility in responding to rapid changes in the electronics and entertainment industry.
Electronics DivisionDivisional StructureSony’s electronics division operates with a divisional structure, where each division is responsible for specific product categories such as televisions, audio equipment, and cameras. Each division may have its own leadership team.– Specialization in the development and marketing of electronic products. – Quick adaptation to market demands within product categories. – Tailored approach to different product lines.Coordination challenges between divisions. May result in variations in product strategies and branding across divisions.
Gaming DivisionDivisional StructureSony’s gaming division, including PlayStation, follows a divisional structure. Different regions and product lines within gaming may have their own leadership teams responsible for gaming console development, game studios, and online services.– Customized strategies for different gaming regions and platforms. – Specialization in the gaming industry. – Quick adaptation to gaming market trends.Coordination challenges between regional gaming divisions. May lead to variations in game release strategies and marketing approaches.
Entertainment DivisionDivisional StructureSony’s entertainment division, which includes Sony Pictures and Sony Music, also operates with a divisional structure. Different divisions focus on various aspects of entertainment, such as film production, music recording, and distribution.– Specialization in different entertainment sectors. – Quick adaptation to the needs of the entertainment industry. – Customized approaches for different entertainment segments.Coordination challenges between divisions. May result in variations in content production and distribution strategies across divisions.
Research and DevelopmentFunctional StructureSony’s research and development activities follow a functional structure, with specialized teams working on electronics, gaming technology, imaging, and other technology areas. Research teams aim to innovate and develop new products and technologies.– Specialized expertise in various technology domains. – Efficient management of R&D activities.Potential challenges in aligning R&D efforts with the broader business strategy.
Human ResourcesFunctional StructureThe Human Resources function at Sony operates with a functional structure, focusing on HR-related functions such as talent acquisition, training, and employee relations. HR teams handle HR matters across the organization.– Efficient management of human resources and talent-related activities. – Specialized expertise in HR functions.Potential challenges in cross-functional collaboration with business units. May not align with specific business 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.

Key Highlights

  • Matrix Structure: Sony employs a matrix organizational structure that combines function-based groups, product/business divisions, and geographical divisions.
  • Function-Based Groups: Sony’s functional groups include areas such as Research & Development, Finance, Legal, Compliance, CEO, Engineering, New Business (Strategy), Human Resources & General Affairs, and Sales & Marketing.
  • Product/Business Divisions: Sony’s major product/business divisions include Game & Network Services (Sony Interactive Entertainment), Music (Sony Music Group), Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment), Electronics Products & Solutions (Sony Corporation), Imaging & Sensing Solutions (Sony Semiconductor Solutions), and Financial Services (Sony Financial Group).
  • Geographic Divisions: Geographic divisions play a role in finance, planning, and strategy, and include regions like Asia-Pacific, Europe, China, United States, Japan, and Other Areas.
  • Organizational Overhaul (2021): In 2021, Sony made significant changes to its organizational structure:
    • Renamed from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better represent its position as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies.
    • Renamed Sony Electronics Corporation to Sony Corporation.
    • Established separate executive structures for businesses within its product-based divisions.
    • Functional group leaders formed executive teams with decision-making authority to enhance efficiency.

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Amazon Organizational Structure

The Amazon organizational structure is predominantly hierarchical with elements of function-based structure and geographic divisions. While Amazon started as a lean, flat organization in its early years, it transitioned into a hierarchical organization with its jobs and functions clearly defined as it scaled.

Apple Organizational Structure

Apple has a traditional hierarchical structure with product-based grouping and some collaboration between divisions.

Coca-Cola Organizational Structure

The Coca-Cola Company has a somewhat complex matrix organizational structure with geographic divisions, product divisions, business-type units, and functional groups.

Costco Organizational Structure

Costco has a matrix organizational structure, which can simply be defined as any structure that combines two or more different types. In this case, a predominant functional structure exists with a more secondary divisional structure. Costco’s geographic divisions reflect its strong presence in the United States combined with its expanding global presence. There are six divisions in the country alone to reflect its standing as the source of most company revenue. Compared to competitor Walmart, for example, Costco takes more a decentralized approach to management, decision-making, and autonomy. This allows the company’s stores and divisions to more flexibly respond to local market conditions.

Dell Organizational Structure

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eBay Organizational Structure

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.

Facebook Organizational Structure

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 are based on the main corporate functions (like HR, product management, investor relations, and so on).

Goldman Sachs’ Organizational Structure

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Google Organizational Structure

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.

IBM Organizational Structure

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.

McDonald’s Organizational Structure

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McKinsey Organizational Structure

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Microsoft Organizational Structure

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Nestlé Organizational Structure

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Nike Organizational Structure

Nike has a matrix organizational structure incorporating geographic divisions. Nike’s matrix structure is also present at the regional and sub-regional levels. Managerial responsibility is segmented according to business unit (apparel, footwear, and equipment) and function (human resources, finance, marketing, sales, and operations).

Patagonia Organizational Structure

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Samsung Organizational Structure

samsung-organizational-structure (1)
Samsung has a product-type divisional organizational structure where products determine how resources and business operations are categorized. The main resources around which Samsung’s corporate structure is organized are consumer electronics, IT, and device solutions. In addition, Samsung leadership functions are organized around a few career levels grades, based on experience (assistant, professional, senior professional, and principal professional).

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.

Starbucks Organizational Structure

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Tesla Organizational Structure

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Toyota Organizational Structure

Toyota has a divisional organizational structure where business operations are centered around the market, product, and geographic groups. Therefore, Toyota organizes its corporate structure around global hierarchies (most strategic decisions come from Japan’s headquarter), product-based divisions (where the organization is broken down, based on each product line), and geographical divisions (according to the geographical areas under management).

Walmart Organizational Structure

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