Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida arrived in Israel yesterday for a visit, sources inform "Globes." During his stay in Israel, Yoshida will visit Sony's development center, based on Altair Semiconductor, acquired by Sony in 2016 for $212 million in its second deal in Israel, following the acquisition of startup Advasense five years earlier.
In Israel, Yoshida will also meet with a limited number of startups, probably in image processing and gaming. Altair confirmed the report, saying, "It is a private working visit." Sony is a large Japanese corporation listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at a $60 billion market cap. The company is a global leader in photography and video game consoles. Yoshida, 59, was appointed to his position a year ago to replace Kazuo Hirai, who became Sony's chairperson. In his previous position as Sony's CFO, Yoshida led structural changes at Sony. He streamlined the company's activity, cut jobs, sold Sony's PC division, split off other activity, etc.
Yoshida began working at Sony 30 years ago, and spent a large part of his time at the company outside of its core electronics activity. According to the Fortune website, one month after becoming CFO, Yoshida criticized his predecessor as CFO for not taking steps to change Sony in accordance with changes in the electronics industry.
Altair began in 2005 as a developer of WiMAX technology for 4G mobile communications. Among other things, the company currently specializes in developing 4G-based Internet of Things (IoT) wireless chips - energy saving communications chips designed to connected electronic devices to a wireless network. These devices include wearable sports and health computers, smart watches, vehicle measuring and monitoring devices, etc.
The company's founders were CEO Oded Melamed, CTO Yigal Bitran, and Eran Eshed. The company's headquarters and R&D center are located in Hod Hasharon. It has 330 employees, compared with 2000 when it was sold to Sony. Sony also operates an investment fund from Altair's offices that looks for startups in Sony's fields of interest for acquisition.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 14, 2019
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