Kunitake Ando, Pres. & COO of Sony

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, January 10, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Is Andy Lack, a guy with no music experience, the right man for this job? Earlier I caught up with the president of Sony and I asked him.


KUNITAKE ANDO, PRES. & COO, SONY: Well, I think he's a very capable businessman. I know his past credentials and I think he's proven that he is a great, great businessman, in the content industry, as well as, you know, broadcast industry. And I know that Jack Welch, his old boss, has been really, you know, talking about him highly several times. So I know him through Jack Welch.

CAVUTO: Mr. Ando, it is interesting, Mr. Lack has no music experience, it just seems an odd choice.

ANDO: I don't know. The music industry as well as all the content industry has been changing, you know, from old business model to new type business model. Because the change of the network age, I think, you know, content industry has been facing a very difficult time at this point, especially music, because people, you know, are using much more, you know, Internet access. And I think if you talking business, I don't think that experience in the old music business that important. And considering to be the new type of business model, could be maybe some advantage.

CAVUTO: Now Tommy Mottola, who left that job, sir, was apparently leaving in a dispute over an extension of his contract. And a thorny issue, we`re told, was money. Now he got about $10 million a year, he wanted a lot more. Was that the issue that broke it down?

ANDO: No. I don't know, because I'm not involved in that. So I can't tell you about this. But I respect, you know, Mottola very much when was heading Sony Music because he is a great guy as a person, as a businessman as well. So that as Sony Group, you know, I think we are now getting a new guy, and I think are making a new sort of total management team as Sony Group as a whole.

CAVUTO: Is it fair to say that the new pay package for Andy Lack is like what Tommy Mottola made?

ANDO: I don't know, I have no knowledge about that, no.

CAVUTO: OK. I do want to switch gears to the conference and the convention going on now.


CAVUTO: One is I noticed this partnership increasingly you have with Linux, a rival to Microsoft, are you trying to get rough with Microsoft?

ANDO: You know, maybe from a journalist viewpoint it may be interesting that, you know, Sony is now - have a lot of companies with Microsoft, but we don't think so. I think, you know, we have a variety of businesses within Sony Group, even a hardware group. We have a strong business as well as a strong IT business. And we have developed, you know, computer business under the logo name of Aiwa, and this is very big right now so that we have to continue to make a very good relationship with Microsoft.

CAVUTO: Do you think that the future of the technology, for example, digital technology, will Microsoft or Linux be the way you get that?

ANDO: Well, there is a difference of a concept, Microsoft is a very strong company, and they have a sole right of, you know, controlling Windows platform. While Linux is more like open platform. Anybody could make additions or maybe contributions to enhance the capability of Linux OS. And we are just a part of, you know, for the PC area, we are now promoting Linux because that is only big primary way to open standards. And we believe that we can contribute a lot to enhance and creating more interesting applications for the users. That's basically our decision to adopt the Linux platform.


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