Panasonic System President is Out

By John Honovich, Published Aug 19, 2015, 12:00am EDT

The architect of $1+ Billion Panasonic North America 'solution' oriented business is out.

In this note, we share feedback from Panasonic, examine his controversial plan and what this means for the security division.

"Pursue Other Opportunities"

Panasonic confirmed the departure of Rance Poehler [link no longer available], a 22-year Panasonic veteran, noting:

"Rance Poehler has left Panasonic System Communications Company of North America to pursue other opportunities.  Panasonic wishes Rance well in his future endeavors. For the foreseeable future, Joseph M. Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America, will serve concurrently as President of Panasonic System Communications Company of North America"

Our understanding, from sources close to the company, was that he was directed to pursue other opportunities after overall sales weakness across the business.

The Poehler Plan

Many of you are familiar with Panasonic's cross-selling approach, not simply in security but across everything they make (e.g. Now You Can Sell Panasonic Scanners, Projectors And Medical Monitors).

A Forbes 2012 article praised Poehler for his approach:

"He pulled together several of Panasonic’s business-to-business assets into a new, larger subsidiary called Panasonic Solutions Company.... Cross-selling strategies were introduced to the sales and marketing teams.  Silos were broken down.... Poehler organized all sales and marketing activity around vertical markets, placing supporting departments in a centralized role."

Join IPVM Newsletter?

IPVM is the #1 authority in video surveillance news, in-depth tests, and training courses. Get emails, once a day, Monday to Friday.

As one person close to Panasonic described to us:

"He believed in Area Sales Managers (ASMs) that would be 'end-user facing' and would drive demand to the channel. He wanted to 'own the end user' and go 'deep and wide' with all of their products."

Problems With Poehler's Plan

Even selling things that are relatively close to surveillance has challenges (e.g., see Cisco's approach) but Panasonic was trying to cross sell things that were quite unrelated. It is hard to bundle or find the same customer within an account when Panasonic is selling such a diverse array of products.

Potential Upside

If this change helps to free the security / surveillance business to operate more independently and focused on the distinct needs of their customers and channel, we see potential upside.

Though the surveillance market is faced with general challenges (Chinese competition, etc.), Panasonic did make a good move recently acquiring Video Insight's VMS (see test results) and has bounced back on the camera side with their 6 Series and 4K cameras. They do need to improve their industry sales and marketing focus and this could be the move that enables it.

4 reports cite this report:

Panasonic Sells Off / Spins Out Security Business on Jun 02, 2019
Panasonic has sold off its security systems business to a private equity...
Panasonic Selling Off Security Camera Factory on Mar 14, 2018
Panasonic is OEMing cameras from Dahua, as IPVM testing confirmed in...
Panasonic Favorability Results on Feb 16, 2017
Panasonic is one of the largest brands in the world and a long term provider...
Panasonic Restructures Security Group on Nov 03, 2015
This summer, we reported that Panasonic System President's resignation /...
Comments (11) : Subscribers only. Login. or Join.
Loading Related Reports