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'We've taken our customers next level': Panasonic NA CEO

Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley sat down with Panasonic North America's CEO Michael Moskowitz to discuss all things Panasonic, what to expect from their new products and the year coming forward, as well as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Video Transcript

DAN HOWLEY: I'm here with President and CEO of Panasonic North America, Michael Moskowitz. Michael, thank you for joining us. Obviously, this is a different type of CES. This is CES 2021, we'll call it Home Edition, since everyone is doing this virtually this year. But I want to go over the different announcements that Panasonic is making at the show. So what can you walk us through? I know automotive is going to be a big part of the company's announcements this year. What kind of announcements are we seeing there?

MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, and I appreciate this is. This is a very, very different CES, for sure. After many years of being there, it's all virtual. Hey, listen, I just want to step back for a second. We're a technology company that have been around for and reinventing itself for over 100 years. Imagine that. So this is something that we should be able to do in terms of pivoting to a fully digital environment.

The other thing is around our business is that we've really transitioned our business from traditional hardware to hardware with software solutions to really wrap that around our complete offering for particular customers, as we pivoted from more of a consumer-based company to be the solutions company, which includes automotive and avionics, et cetera. So we've really reinvented ourselves.

As it relates to CES, we have some really awesome things that we're going to be announcing. Listen, if you look at the automotive space, we've developed and we'll be announcing new heads-up displays that really provide more intuitive, information-gathering experience in terms of how you look at things. So it's on your windshield versus it being in front of you. We're working with really strong partners like Klipsch to incorporate Dolby Atmos into the car experience, the premium car experience and then overlaying that with our SPYDR platform, which is really exciting.

On the consumer side, I'm just giving you a few examples. On the consumer side-- and you know how individuals and corporations have, again, pivoted to work at home or a safer environment. And you can just imagine the gaming community is really accelerating. To support that, we're launching a new sound speaker for gaming called the SoundSlayer, and that supports the work that we're doing with SQUARE ENIX and the FINAL FANTASY XIV online games. So that's really cool.

And then the other thing is just an example of how things are changing in terms of the culinary changes as well. I mean, as you know, individuals are working from home, eating at home, cooking, et cetera, and we've developed unique appliances. And one of those appliances is incorporating four technologies into one, and that includes, traditionally, it would only be a microwave, but now it's a microwave, then a broiler, a fryer. And this is ultimately the all-in-one cooking environment, so really exciting.

And then we're showcasing, at CES, our camera technology, our new BGH1, which is a box camera. And one of the things that we're doing is we've got a live concert featuring the Cold War Kids, and we're going to be leveraging in concert this camera technology so you can see different angles, so really neat. So I'd really, I'd urge you to check it out.

DAN HOWLEY: I guess when you look at the COVID environment, and by the way, I just got a pressure cooker recently. I have got a microwave and a stove, so anything that can put all of that together is very, very welcome. My counter can't take anymore space there. But when you look at the COVID background, I guess how is that really driven the decisions for the types of products that Panasonic is working on?

MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ: Well, one of the things that we really do well is that we really listen very closely to our customers and their needs, and we adapt. I mean, I think that's one of the beauties of Panasonic and our culture around contribution. And it comes back to some of things that we do really well. We've got this grit, we've got our passion for delivering to our customers, and so we're doing that.

And I'll give you some examples of some things we're changing. During this COVID journey, we've supported many major medical equipment manufacturers with our battery technology. As production started to ramp, we ramped with that to support them. We've developed new contactless types of technologies around quick-service restaurants, whether it be kiosks or drive-thrus, or contactless payments, and the most recent, which is food lockers. Imagine that.

We really take in our customers to the next level, and so their needs are being supported by our technologies. And even in the grocery, I mean, again, those food lockers and the purchase and collect and pick up is a trend that we're taking advantage of, whether it be heating and cooling in one kind of food locker is very unique to what we're doing. And then just a lot of the battery work that we're doing for battery backup and the data centers that are driving and supporting so much of the flow of data and ecommerce, we're really powering many of that with our battery and sustainable technologies.

And I think that a lot of that comes back to our culture and our focus on our customers is really some of the things that is carrying us through this pandemic and driving new solutions for our customers across the board.

DAN HOWLEY: All right, Mike, continued success. Michael Moskowitz, chairman and CEO of Panasonic North America. Thank you so much for joining us.

MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ: Thanks, Dan. It's a pleasure to be here. Be well.