Global leader: Fumio Ohtsubo, president
Local leader: Steve Rust, MD, Australia and New Zealand
Core activity: Electronics manufacturer
Revenue: ¥7.8 trillion (US$8.7 billion) (FY08-09 ended March 31)
Key customers: Nichirei Foods, Sapporo Breweries, Telstra
Although it has been a difficult year for manufacturers of consumer products, Panasonic continues to innovate. Its most significant offering in the past year has been the Micro Four Thirds system for consumer digital cameras,
which it co-developed with Olympus.
These cameras offer the ability to swap out lenses, matching the versatility of a digital SLR. The key difference is that these cameras do not have a mirror box, which takes up a lot of space,
thus creating a smaller, lighter camera.
In September, Panasonic took its first steps into the 3D home-entertainment arena, when it unveiled a prototype 50-inch television and companion glasses that give the illusion of three dimensions.
Panasonic also unveiled its latest research and technology in the area of recycling, showing off a laser system that can quickly weaken the thick glass of the cathode ray tubes from old televisions. Using its new method, up to 72 televisions can be processed per hour - three times the rate using previous recycling techniques. Jack Loo