24 Apr 2011

Sony's chairman credited with creating CDs dies

2:54 pm on 24 April 2011

The former president and chairman of Sony, Norio Ohga, who was credited with developing the compact disc, has died aged 81.

Mr Ohga, who led the company from 1982 to 1995, died of multiple organ failure in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

Mr Ohga combined three careers that culminated in the creation and global distribution of the compact disc.

While training as an opera singer he became involved in the development of electrical engineering to enhance sound.

During the development of the CD, it was Mr Ohga who pushed for a disc that was 12cm in diameter, because it provided sufficient capacity at 75 minutes to store all of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Sony sold the world's first CD in 1982 and CDs overtook LP record sales in Japan five years later.

Mr Ohga's specifications are still used today, and have shaped formats developed since, including MiniDisc and DVD.