Asia Minute: Toshiba’s Name in Lights Coming Down from Times Square

Nov 23, 2017

Credit Wikipedia

As people around the country enjoy their Thanksgiving meals, the holiday season has officially arrived. By the end of the season, there will be a significant development involving celebration, change, and one of the best known corporate names in the Asia Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


The shrinking Japanese corporation Toshiba is taking its name off the giant LED screen that towers over Times Square in New York City.

The company has had its name in lights above Times Square for a decade—and has sponsored the end of the year globally-televised countdown since 2009.

Multiple reports in Japanese media quote sources “close to the situation” who say this New Year’s will mark the end of both traditions.

It’s the latest cutback for the company—which is trying to improve its finances following the massive losses of its U.S. nuclear power unit---which is now bankrupt.

When Toshiba’s sign went up in Times Square ten years ago, the company was enjoying record sales.

More recently, it’s been selling off huge parts of its business—from the television division to its white goods unit—both going to Chinese companies.

 Kyodo News reports Toshiba is considering selling its personal computer operations as part of its continued move away from consumer products.

A deal to sell its computer chip unit is still being finalized—and the company needs to raise cash by the end of the first quarter next year to avoid being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

By the way, that Times Square address has not always carried the best of corporate luck.

Former owners of the space include another entity that did NOT escape bankruptcy: the once-mighty financial giant Lehman Brothers.