Sony Mobile global CMO Steve Walker to quit

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Walker to leave next month after 17 years as part of a wider restructure of the manufacturer’s sales and marketing divisions

Sony Mobile corporate vice president and chief marketing officer Steve Walker is to leave the company next month after 17 years.

The manufacturer said his departure is part of a wider restructure of its sales and marketing teams. It forms Sony’s strategy to bring consumers connected entertainment experiences across multiple devices as its mobile division continues to be more closely integrated into the wider Sony business.

Walker’s responsibilities will be split between Sony’s wider marketing function and the newly formed product marketing organisation, headed up by Jacob Sten. The new sales development section of the company, headed up by Hiro Ishizuka, will handle the commercial aspects.

Walker (pictured) joined Ericsson in May 1996 as a senior marketing executive and held several senior global product marketing roles over his tenure at the firm, through Sony Ericsson to Sony Mobile. Sony bought out Ericsson’s stake in the Sony Ericsson joint venture for £871 million in February 2012.

Most recently, Walker began to drive the launch of the global marketing campaign for the Xperia Z, the firm’s flagship handset for 2013. Sony is to spend almost £40 million on marketing this year after Sony Mobile president of North Western Europe Pierre Perron told Mobile News last month the firm is doubling its 2012 UK marketing spend – a figure reported to have been around £19 million.

Sony Mobile CVP, sales and marketing Dennis van Schie said: “The mobile business is at the heart of Sony’s strategy to bring consumers connected entertainment experiences across devices. These structural changes will help support our ‘One Sony’ model of working and will provide the framework for our business to progress to the next level.”

“We would like to thank Steve for his tremendous contribution to Sony over the last seventeen years. He has helped the company make the transition from feature phones to smartphones, driven our brand evolution from Sony Ericsson to Sony and built a strong Global campaign to launch our flagship smartphone for 2013, Xperia Z. We wish him all the best as he moves forward in the next stage of his career.”

Walker said: “My years with the company have seen enormous change and progression from a brand and marketing perspective. Leading  Sony’s marketing transition into the mobile category has given me great professional and personal satisfaction. The launch of Xperia Z, along with a global marketing campaign of which I am extremely proud, marks the start of the next chapter in the company’s story. Having reached this important milestone, it feels like the natural time for me to move on to new challenges.”

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