Former Sony President and Chairman Norio Ohga, who gave up a career as an opera singer to join the fledgling consumer electronics maker in the 1950s and later led its expansion from hardware to software and entertainment and developing the compact disc, died Saturday. He was 81.
Ohga, who led the company from 1982 to 1995, died of multiple organ failure in Tokyo, Sony said.
Some decisions made during Ohga's presidency, such as the $3.4-billion purchase of Columbia Pictures, were criticized as unwise and costly at the time. But Ohga's focus on music, films and video games as a way to enrich the electronics business helped create Sony's success in his era.