After TV & Consumer PC Failures Toshiba Boss Claims It’s Now All About Dynabook
After screwing up in the TV market and then the PC market, what else do you do but find a new name and start again.
Toshiba the once mighty Japanese PC brand is dead and gone, but not the senior management who were responsible for the failure of the Toshiba brand in both the consumer TV market and consumer PC market are now back trying to launch a new PC brand called Dynabook.
The move is being made despite declining PC sales and with an unknown brand in Australia
Mark Whittard the CEO of Toshiba Australia is one of the few people left of the old Toshiba management team today he is spearheading a new PC initative to flog Dynabook to the market which many in the industry claim will struggle.
Whittard was responsible for the operation that failed to convince consumers to buy a Toshiba TV or a Toshiba consumer PC he was also involved in the dumping of Melbourne based distributor Castel more than a decade ago that cost Toshiba millions.
Today the Toshiba TV brand is sold at JB Hi Fi via Adelaide based distributor Powermove after Chinese Company Skyworth took on the brand.
Under Whittard the disgraced Japanese Company went after the bottom to mid TV market.
Now the TV brand is owned by Hisense who is set to use the brand to get into the US and European markets after paying $129M for the rights to the Toshiba TV brand name.
In the consumer PC market Toshiba despite being seen as one of the best PC brands in the market failed to attract consumers despite success in the B2B market in Australia, this led to the Company exiting the Australian consumer PC market in 2016.
This week the Company announced that as from April 1, the Toshiba brand of B2B notebooks and other IT gear will formally disappear from Australian markets.
The gear itself will continue to be made but will bear a new trade name Dynabook.
Mark Whittard, the long-running MD of Toshiba Client Solutions in Australia is the new MD of Dynabook A/NZ, the renamed company announced earlier this week.
Whittard has a chequered history when it comes to consumer AV and PC products.
Back in 2006 Whittard and the then Toshiba Australia CEO Ralph Stadus decided it would be a good idea to take on Melbourne based distributor Castel in an effort to take back the rights to Toshiba AV gear which was being supplied via Toshiba Singapore.
At the time Toshiba said that Castel would continue to provide service and spare parts for Toshiba products until the end of 2007 and would also be responsible for the initial rollout of the next generation optical disc format – HD DVD products.
After years of collaboration, between Toshiba and Castel the relationship went pear shaped and Castel sued claiming that Toshiba products were not up to scratch and that the Toshiba AV products were defective.
Castel Electronics filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Toshiba Singapore, claiming damages for problematic PVRs and rear projection televisions.
Castel, claimed to have lost $15.5 million trying to fix numerous problems with the J35 personal video recorder, C26 set top box and rear projection televisions.
The Melbourne based distributor also claimed another $18.8 million in lost profits and staff re-allocation expenses.
Now Whittard is spearheading a new initiative to try and get traction for his new brand of PC that is going to have to compete up against Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo all brands that stripped share away from Toshiba who ended up wallowing in debt and was a Company that was found to be run globally by corrupt executives.
Back in 2015 Toshiba president and CEO Hisao Tanaka admitted that on his watch Toshiba had fraudulently inflated its profits by US$1.3 billion.
That stunning admission was followed by the bankruptcy of Toshiba’s US nuclear business and the departure of around 50,000 staff.
Most of the chip business was sold off and in June last year long-term rival Sharp acquired an 80.1pc stake in the PC business for $36 million.
(Sharp itself had earlier been acquired by Taiwan-based Foxconn.) A flash-memory semiconductor business was sold to private-equity firm Bain Capital.
This week’s announcement claimed “The Dynabook brand was introduced in Japan in 1989 and is part of our legacy Dynabook products will continue to be manufactured in our factory where we build laptops with some of the industry’s lowest failure rates”.
“With Dynabook being part of the Sharp family, we will have access to Sharp’s business solutions portfolio, such as digital signage, monitors and interactive displays.
“We look forward to future growth and success that will be delivered within a new, dynamic and fresh brand.”