Former Sony chief Idei ups influence in China with consulting role at video game maker Youzu

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 August, 2015, 3:06pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 August, 2015, 3:06pm

Nobuyuki Idei, the former chairman and group chief executive of Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony, is now lending his expertise to China's burgeoning video games industry as a consultant for Shenzhen-listed Youzu Interactive.

His formal appointment as a one-man think tank for Youzu, a developer and publisher of online and mobile games, was announced by the company on Sunday.

The new consultant job at Youzu marked the third high-profile role landed by Idei with a publicly listed mainland Chinese company since he left Sony in 2005.

He has served as an independent director at Baidu, China's leading online search services provider, since June 2007. He also joined Lenovo Group, the world's largest personal computer supplier, as an independent non-executive director in September 2011.

In a statement, Youzu chairman and chief executive Lin Qi said Idei is expected to assist the company in "creating and implementing a new plan for the roll-out of the firm's global deployment strategy".

That strategy included extending Youzu's reach into the movie industry and other related sectors, as well as collaboration with young entrepreneurs in mainland China and Japan.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Shanghai, Youzu has released its games in more than 70 countries and territories. The online and mobile versions of the game, League of Angels, has been the company's most successful global release to date.

In April this year, Youzu and Google agreed to form a partnership involving digital integrated marketing, data mining and analysis, as well as overseas distribution of mobile games and related products.

Idei is the founder and chief executive at Quantum Leaps, an executive advisory company he established in September 2006. Quantum Leaps aims to enhance Japan’s competitiveness by supporting corporate transformation and creating an open platform to nurture technology-driven venture companies.

The veteran Japanese executive is also the founder and chairman of Asia Innovators’ Initiative, a private non-profit organisation that he established in 2011.

For more than a decade from 1995, Idei was a member of top management at Sony, including roles as president and chief operating officer, and later as chairman and chief executive.

He was the architect behind a Sony-led consortium's US$2.9 billion acquisition of Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 2004. He also was responsible for the development of the PSX, a digital video recorder with an integrated PlayStation 2 video game console.