Dreams Running Unbounded - As Chairman of
the Board and later as Executive Advisor
Inviting the presidents of all sales companies and distributors to a three-day conference: in 1964 at age 69
As Panasonic's profits plummeted for the first time since 1950,Konosuke invited the presidents of all Panasonic sales companies and distributors throughout Japan to a
three-day conference in the Atami hot spring resort, south of Tokyo.
The sales companies and distributors blamed the corporation for their
economic troubles. However, Panasonic executives denied responsibility,
claiming that poor management of the sales companies was the problem.
To avoid a total breakdown in communication, on the final day, Konosuke
addressed the tense gathering, saying,
"I understand your position, and we will argue no more. Our company is clearly to blame, and, with your assistance, I will try
my best to rectify this situation." The impassioned plea brought a
hush to the audience, and then, acknowledging Konosuke's sincerity,
those assembled vowed that they were now ready to work together.
At the close of the conference, Konosuke personally presented placards
to all the assembled presidents, on which he wrote the words, "Co-existence
and Mutual Prosperity". After the conference, Konosuke stepped out
of retirement to temporarily take over as Director of the Corporate
Sales Division, totally revamping the corporation's sales and distribution
system. He reorganized existing sales companies, allowed direct transactions
between sales companies and product divisions, and created a credit
plan for consumers. With these measures in place, sales gradually
began to improve.