Earlier this week, Bloomberg posted an article in which they interviewed Olympus’ CEO, Yasuo Takeuchi. It was implied in the article — without a quote from Takeuchi — that Olympus was not opposed to selling its Imaging division.
While I covered these rumors when they first came to surface last week, I included a statement from Olympus that debunked the rumors. After the Bloomberg article this week, I reached out again to Olympus, and was provided with the following statement:
“As announced in our Corporate Strategy, Olympus is further focusing on our Medical business and follows the strong ambition for all of our businesses to be profitable and contribute to our overall business objectives. In that regard, we are continuously evaluating our overall portfolio, as announced in our Corporate Strategy on November 6, 2019.
“For Imaging, however, we currently have no plans to sell the business. The task is therefore to stabilize and strengthen its market position. To achieve that, we are actively running marketing activities, and have already established a clear and exciting product roadmap for the coming months and years. We are actively pursuing future technology developments that will enhance photography and video for creators. Furthermore, Imaging is and will continue to be an important technology and innovation driver for our other businesses.
“Our Imaging business features a unique product portfolio. Olympus products are compact and lightweight, feature market leading image stabilization and autofocus. Many of our high-end products are also splash-proof. No other product offers customers this level of optical excellence paired with the highest mobility.
“Just last month we launched our new OM-D E-M5 Mark III – a light yet feature packed addition to our semi-pro camera portfolio, inheriting pro-features like a high precision AF from our OM-D E-M1 Mark II model. Furthermore, we have announced the development of M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO earlier this year to be launched by next year. Customers can follow our break-free campaign on various channels and worldwide.”
After reading both the Bloomberg article as well as Olympus’ statement, it’s pretty clear that Olympus is in this for the long haul. Without a direct quote from Takeuchi in the Bloomberg article, the article at best creates another rumor, and lacks the journalistic integrity necessary in these types of situations.
It’s clear that Olympus’ Imaging division is not its biggest revenue driver. However, the technologies that the Imaging division has developed, I’m told, can be seen throughout the company’s Medical division, too. So there’s a reason the Imaging division exists beyond just driving sales.
Let’s face it — camera sales are going down for pretty much any company out there. I first heard rumors about Nikon closing up shop back in 2012, and they’re still around (and facing similar rumors). By focusing on their core strategies, it’s clear that Olympus has confirmed it wants to grow the Imaging division of its company. And with many passionate users that have invested in their system over the years (myself included), I have nothing but confidence that growth will at some point occur.