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Sony President Norio Ohga Dies At 81, Sold First Compact Disc

Norio Ohga was always a lover of music first and conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in addition to making Sony a leader in entertainment.

Norio Ohga was always a lover of music first and conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in addition to making Sony a leader in entertainment.


The man who sold Sony’s first CD in 1982 and complained about the quality of Sony tape recorders has died.

A former Opera singer, Norio Ohga, who has died from multiple organ failure, ran Sony corporation from 1982 to 1995. He was 81.

He developed the compact disc and championed its superior sound over cassettes and lead Sony to dominate the video game and media industry.

Sony sold the first CD in 1982 under his watch and insisted the CD be able to hold 75 minutes of music so listeners could hear Beethoven’s ninth symphony in its entirety.

”It is no exaggeration to attribute Sony’s evolution beyond audio and video products into music, movies and games, and subsequent transformation into a global entertainment leader to Ohga-san’s foresight and vision,” Sony chairman and chief executive Howard Stringer said.

He was appointed chairman of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999 and conducted a few times each year and always had a love of music.

”Just as a conductor must work to bring out the best in the members of his orchestra, a company president must draw on the talents of the people in his organisation,” Ohga said in 1996.

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