Outside the Box

Quick Bio

Theresa Alesso, president, Sony Professional

Name: Theresa Alesso

Position: President, Professional Solutions Division, Imaging Products and Solutions–Americas (IPSA)

Company: Sony Electronics

Overtime: Alesso was recently honored by Working Mother magazine for her commitment to work/life balance. She was also named Sony’s Working Mother of the Year by the magazine.

SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?

THERESA ALESSO: As president of Sony Electronics’ professional division, I am responsible for the sales and marketing operations of our business, which covers a diverse range of B2B markets including media, corporate and education, healthcare, sports, cinema, and visual simulation and entertainment.

In addition, I remain focused on extending Sony’s leadership position, building our business, exploring new opportunities and applications that enhance our core capabilities in the imaging and professional realm, and strengthening our role as a long-term collaborative partner to the customers and companies we support.

In my leadership role, I’m dedicated to fostering and advocating for a balanced and inclusive working environment that places value on hard work, while recognizing that our highest achievers do best when they are empowered and trusted to maintain a healthy balance in their personal and professional lives. The current environment we live in means we’re connected 24/7, which presents a set of challenges and expectations, but also provides the flexibility to work in the manner that suits you best. 

I am also passionate about encouraging diversity in the workplace. Studies show that a more diverse leadership board means more profit and more success—a win/win scenario!

SCN: How long have you been in this position?

TA: I’ve been in my current role since March of 2019, and with Sony since 1990. And for those calculating, yes, I started while I was in middle school!

SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?

TA: I’ve worked for Sony for nearly 30 years in a variety of capacities, beginning as an administrative professional and working my way up. As a woman working at a Japanese company in a typically male-dominated field, I’ve learned to have a thick skin, let my accomplishments speak for themselves, and be the hardest working person in the room. I’ve also realized that you need to recognize and own your strengths. For me, as a female leader, one of those strengths is my ability to listen and communicate with employees. Being a mother has also prepared me because I truly learned the meaning of work/life integration and the importance of balancing the two.

SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?

TA: In the short term, my goals include getting closer to our customers, be it end users, integrators, or resellers. When we work hand-in-hand with our partners to better understand their needs, it enables us to develop purpose-built products, solutions, and workflows that address their concerns and make their jobs easier.

I also want to further expose people to what I call “the secret side of Sony,” which is the professional business that I oversee. Despite Sony’s omnipresence, we often act behind the scenes, playing a crucial role in enabling the broadcasts of the biggest sports events, bringing vibrant stories to life on the big screen, making your meetings or lectures run seamlessly, and even giving your healthcare provider additional insights. For virtually every professional application, Sony has a relevant solution that can grow with customers.

I am so proud to work for a company like Sony, which maintains a leadership position across all of its divisions—from electronics, to music, film and television, as well as gaming, which uniquely enables us to touch on every aspect of the creative entertainment process. We create and deliver more entertainment experiences than any other company. This is such a powerful and distinctive story and one that I’d like to continue to tell in the long term.

SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face?

TA: The greatest challenge we currently face is the transition of our business from traditional “box” products to a hybrid of products and solutions. People often associate Sony with products, but we’ve been hard at work developing quality solutions to work alongside and enhance our product portfolio.

SCN: Where do you see the display market heading?

TA: The display market is something we see as an area of growth and opportunity. Sony’s professional lineup focuses heavily on 4K (and beyond) and HDR. We’re also seeing more microLED options. We recognize the market need for all-in-one displays based on a System on a Chip (SoC) infrastructure, which eliminates external hardware, as well as cloud connectivity. There’s also a desire to supplement displays with software to provide a more comprehensive and powerful solution. Of course, Sony is implementing these trends through our latest technologies.

SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Sony?

TA: AI is another area we are embracing and something you can expect more of from Sony, as it infiltrates every market. From tailored recommendations and streamlining efficiencies to providing automation, these technologies can provide faster, smarter, safer, more cost-efficient, and more accurate results.

SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you offer?

TA: We strive to be a collaborative partner to the organizations we work with, including systems contractors, and align ourselves with businesses that place the same pride in delivering superior experiences. Sony offers a complete ecosystem of products and services to outfit a project, so we’re eager to support systems contractors’ vision and to work together to identify the right solution and provide appropriate support. Systems contractors should be leveraging the Sony name, which is synonymous with innovation, quality, reliability, and excellence across nearly every consumer and professional vertical and application.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.