Calling All Audio Magicians
Tom Sumner’s father-in-law, a Sacramento, Calif.-based custom installer who primarily does corporate work, didn’t know Yamaha’s Digital Sound Projector existed until Sumner told him about it.
“It’s a one-bar solution that gives you true surround sound, and great sound,” Sumner told him. “You put it up, and people say, ‘Wow, that TV sounds great!’ But really, it’s our Digital Sound Projector.”
Sumner plans to make sure more people know about the Digital Sound Projector and future next-generation products. In April, he was named president of Yamaha Electronics Corp., USA, (YEC) and also corporate vice president of Yamaha Corp. of America (YCA), YEC’s parent company. He replaced Hogan Osawa, who was appointed YCA’s president. Sumner joined Yamaha in 1988 as national account manager for its Consumer Products Division (CPD) and was promoted to national sales manager for Multimedia Products in 1995 and CPD general manager in 2000. He became Yamaha’s Pro Audio and Combo (PAC) general manager in 2002 and was promoted to vice president/general manager of the division in 2004.
Still new to the YEC job, Sumner said he has a few major goals. “The first is to have Yamaha be the best supplier in the CE space in terms of how our consumers/end users and channel partners view us. The second is to drive consumer demand, specifically for Yamaha products, and to continue to raise the value of our brand.”
Sumner believes Yamaha’s opportunity for growth is in promoting solutions like the Digital Sound Projector and other next-generation products and also in promoting the attachment of audio to the full custom job (for example, putting audio into a second bedroom or other areas of the house). Such products “are important for Yamaha and the industry because they create excitement in the marketplace and drive demand,” Sumner said. “The Digital Sound Projector, as an example, delights consumers because they get surround sound from a single source. It’s almost magic.”