Rich Ventura Joins Sony To Run B2B Visuals Business; Leaving NEC After Nearly 20 Years

Rich Ventura has for a very long time been front and center in NEC’s commercial display and digital signage business, so it’s a pretty big news that he has left that company after almost 20 years to sign on as Vice President of B2B for Sony’s Imaging Products and Solutions Professional Division.

That basically means he is running Sony’s B2B efforts. Rich is based in Chicago, while Sony’s US business is based in Southern California. As we’re all experiencing right now, head offices are conceptual, and even when things were normal, I know people who run substantial teams but live on the other side of the country from the main office.

His departure is in the same time window as Sharp and NEC somewhat merging US operations, in the wake of Sharp (and its owner Foxconn) acquiring 2/3 of the display business. That deal is formalized next week.

Sony’s PR says:

In this role, Ventura will provide insight, strategy and leadership to Sony’s robust display, remote camera and solutions product portfolio directly overseeing business and product management as well as all B2B marketing communications strategies. In addition, he will nurture and expand Sony relationships in the corporate, education and government sectors to drive growth for Sony’s B2B portfolio and create long-term partnerships with strategic systems integrators and distribution partners which will drive engagement among influential corporations and universities.

“We are thrilled to have Rich joining our team and are confident his years of industry experience and strong leadership will bring new insight and help drive accelerated and long-term growth for Sony in these strategic categories,” says Theresa Alesso, President, Imaging Products & Solutions Professional Division.

“I’m excited about joining Sony Electronics given their long history of innovation and leadership,” says Rich Ventura, Vice President of B2B, Sony Imaging Products and Solutions Professional Division. “There are amazing opportunities in the industry and I look forward to delivering value to our partners and customers.”

Ventura brings two decades of experience in the professional imaging and display industry. Prior to Sony, Ventura spent nineteen plus years with NEC Display Solutions of America in which he held a variety of roles such as Field Sales, Director of Sales, and Vice President of Strategy and Solutions.

As Senior Vice President of Strategy and Solutions Development at NEC Display Solutions of America, Ventura focused on evolving the business and driving it forward through strategic initiatives that resulted in both short and long-term gains for NEC.

In addition, Rich is also a respected industry insider in display technology and is a former Chairman of the Digital Signage Federation (DSF) and serves on the Former Chairman’s Council. In his time on the DSF Board, he developed and supported numerous initiatives for various committees such as The International Committee, Advocacy and Outreach Committee, Membership Committee as well as the Global DOOH Council. 

Rich also has 10 years military service as a part of the Minnesota National Guard and the US Army Reserves.

Ventura’s extensive experience, industry relationships and dedication will bolster and support Sony’s strategy and vision for future-forward professional solutions that will evolve Sony’s B2B business within the professional division.

I wouldn’t call it seismic, but it’s a big deal when a company’s most visible person on the pro display side of the business decides to move on (he wasn’t pushed out). When the Sharp thing went down, Ventura was quite frank in saying he was not sure how it would all shake out and whether he still fit.

How things look and work for the blended entity will be clearer when that deal closes next week and gets operational.

For Rich, he’s taking on work with a company that’s kinda been in and out and in of digital signage for many years. I think it is fair to say Sony is not a major player, but seems to have been stepping it up more and more in the last two or three years. It has a CMS I have been asking about – possibly two – but I’ve not been able to find someone to get the full story on it.

Now I have a serious contact!

They also have the best known microLED display on the market – the gorgeous but $$$$$$ Crystal LED. Recessions have a way of chilling expenditures on super-premium products, but I suspect that end of the market is less damaged by what’s going on right now.

Good pick-up for Sony, as Rich is sharp, tireless and hyper-connected in the pro display market.

He’s had quite a year so far – he picked up but conquered COVID and just recently lost a mom. But his beloved Univ. Of Minnesota Golden Gophers made a bowl game, and he’s now gone public saying he’ll be a first time Dad by this fall. 

Congratulations on many fronts, my friend!

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