Matsushita Changing Name to Panasonic

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In a move which may mark the end of an era in the electronics industry, Japan’s Matsushita has announced it will change the name of the company away from that of its famous founder and instead adopt the name of its most well-known global brand: Panasonic.

Matsushita was founded in 1918, Matsushita was one of the major Japanese businesses to take the global stage after World War II, with founder Konosuke Matsushita embodying one of the rags-to-riches stories of the 20th century: sent to work in Osaka by his family at a young age, and started his company at the age of 23 on the basis of a new light socket he designed. His humanitarian ideals and management style have often been cited as central tenets of the company.

Matsushita president Fumio Ohtsubo expressed mixed feelings at the name change, but overall the company felt that its worldwide Panasonic brand had suffered because of the company’s insistence on keeping its name. "The company name change and brand unification is a bold step forward to make the company a truly global corporation, in which its corporate value can be enhanced with united efforts by all the employees focused on the ‘Panasonic’ brand worldwide," the company said in a statement.

Matsushita will also drop its long-standing National brand for products distributed in the Japanese market.

The name change will be effective October 1, 2008.