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Larry Harrison

Larry Harrison
Product Marketing Specialist
Sony Electronics
15 years in the industry 

Tell us about your career so far.

15 years ago, I accepted my first premium retail management position. Three years of learning about the customer base and the consumer electronics industry helped prepare me for my current journey with Sony. Understanding relationship building, training principles, and incredible products makes it easy to stand up in front of large groups or sit at my desk to virtually educate as many people as possible on how to answer the fundamental question, “Why Sony?”

Describe your current role.

There are two sides to my current role. The first side of my job focuses on product training. I work closely with our Business Units to make sure our training messages, key product features, and customer benefits are not just understood but also repeated so that customers can be confident in choosing Sony. The other side of the role focuses on the expansion of Sony fans all over the world. We are achieving this by working with various platforms, such as YouTube, Amazon, the Retail Store website, and our own Sony.com website. By utilizing these platforms, we are allowing customers to hear directly from us about different products and our amazing Brand Story. Creating this type of connection with our customers fits completely in line with “Kando”, which is centered around the emotional connection people have with products.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, how is the CE industry doing both historically, and also in the past year?

Historically, the CE industry has not been a segment with as much diversity, but that can be said about many different industries. Fast forward to this past year (or several years), I have noticed a huge commitment from several CE companies to improve diversity. Speaking closer to home, Sony has always been mindful of diversity and inclusion. Over the past couple of years, these efforts have continued to be the standard, in my opinion. The creation of the President’s Diversity Office and various committees focused on diversity help all employees feel comfortable with who they are.

What could the CE industry do to improve diversity and inclusion?

I think it starts with recruitment and outreach programs. Do CE companies have network channels open to HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities)? I would like to see CE companies create workshops and sponsorship programs for the youth in lower income areas. These areas, unfortunately, are mostly comprised of people of color and most of the time, the closest they get to the more popular CE products is a TV commercial or YouTube video. These young minds could very well be the next software engineer or game console designer. We just need to make sure we are doing more to expose them to such an exciting industry.

What would you tell non-black professionals in the CE industry who want to support the inclusion of black people in the industry?

First, understand the obstacles faced by the black youth of today. Often times, college is not even a thought due to financial reasons or motivation. I encourage all members of the CE industry to find a way to reach out to youth programs and find a way to contribute. Sometimes our time is more valuable than money. The other point I want to make is that I have chosen to focus on the underserved parts of our community, but I do not want the assumption to be that all black people come from difficult environments. I chose to concentrate on this segment because this is the place where our help, guidance, and mentorship are most needed.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

The Sony Samurai Award. During the induction ceremony, the recognition is described as an honor you can’t try to obtain. I remember my induction vividly, listening to the presenter describe this person. I couldn’t help but think to myself, I want to meet them and learn from them. Then the moment they said my name, time froze, the room fell silent, and a wave of emotions hit me. As quickly as I thought back to what I could have possibly done to warrant this recognition, I immediately realized that every day forward I must work harder to preserve the spirit and honor of this recognition.

What technology are you most interested in at the moment?

I would like to answer this in two parts. From the perspective of what I work closest with, I am very interested in the development of TV technology. In the past 10 years, we have seen a technological explosion of features that reminds me of early 90’s computers when innovation was happening so fast that some customers were afraid to purchase something outdated. The second is the EV segment. Electric Vehicles are on the verge of restructuring an entire infrastructure. Imagine the business changes and personal lifestyles when EVs are more widely adopted. How many fast-food chains will have charging stations? What will the impact be on gas prices once the demand lowers? What impact will it have on power utilities? We are witnessing a transportation shift, and it is intriguing. Not to mention, our Sony Vision S vehicles are game-changing as well!

What’s the top trend in CE for you right now?

That’s a tough one. It is a tie between mirrorless camera technology and noise-canceling tech.

What’s your favorite gadget right now?

LinkBuds! I have always depended on music to keep my energy going through the day, and since I now have a three-month-old baby in the home, I wasn’t able to enjoy it as often. Thanks to LinkBuds Earbuds, I can listen to my music, not disturb my napping daughter, and still be able to hear if she cries.

Any additional thoughts you’d like to share?

Recognition has a way of making you selfreflect and appreciate your accomplishments. This recognition feels particularly special to me. As a black man in an industry that employs far too few of us, having a publication bring attention to this topic, actively look to make a change, and grow diversity and inclusion for all are truly incredible. Thank you!