Business / Corporate

Former Google vice president Yoky Matsuoka joins Panasonic executive team

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. said Thursday it had appointed Yoky Matsuoka, Google LLC’s former vice president and an expert on software and robotics, as a fellow with the electronics maker’s executive team, tasking her to drive innovation.

Matsuoka, 48, “brings world-leading technical expertise and consumer product development to Panasonic. With such a wealth of experience and knowledge, Yoky will lead the creation of new products and services beyond the existing business and organization,” it said.

She will be based in Silicon Valley, the company added. Matsuoka formerly led Google’s smart home division, known as Google Nest, as chief technical officer, and worked for Apple Inc.

The appointment of Matsuoka, effective Thursday, is the latest in Panasonic’s efforts to bring in diverse personnel as it hopes to shift from its traditional business model based on hardware sales.

Panasonic hired Eiichi Katayama, former Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co. electronics analyst, and Wataru Baba, former vice president at the Japan unit of German software maker SAP SE, as members of its management team in 2016 and 2017, respectively.