Founded in Tokyo in 1946, Sony was the brainchild of two men. Engineer Masaru Ibuka and physicist Akio Morita invested the equivalent of Yen 190,000 to start a company with just 20 employees. The rest is history!)
Behind the phenomenal success of Sony are two men. Masaru Ibuka was an engineer and Akio Morita a physicist when they decided to create a company repairing and building electrical equipment. On May 7, 1946, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K. (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation), also known as Totsuko, was established in Tokyo. The new company had no machinery and little scientific equipment. Possessing only their own intelligence and engineering expertise, Ibuka and Morita set about to create new markets.
Origin of the word 'Sony'
In 1955, the company decided to use the SONY logo on Totsuko products and three years later changed its name to Sony Corporation. Two concepts were combined to create the name 'Sony'. One was the Latin word 'sonus' which is the root of words such as 'sound' and 'sonic'. The other was 'sonny boy,' a popular expression used in Japan at the time to describe a young person with a free and pioneering spirit. The new name perfectly captured the mood of the company as a group of young people with the energy and passion for unlimited creation.
Since the company was established over 60 years ago, it has grown from 20 employees to approximately 170,000 people around the world.
Sony has always been an international company. Akio Morita recognised from the beginning that his company needed to regard the whole world as its marketplace and was careful not to restrict activities to Japan alone. He also insisted that the Sony name be prominent on all company products and materials to maximise the power of the brand.
To read more about Sony's history, please refer to the History chapter on www.sony.net
Milestones in Product Development
Since those early days, few companies have equalled Sony's reputation for invention, imagination and reliability. Over the years, there have been many groundbreaking innovations.
Scroll through the key milestones listed below for more information.