Idei and Aibo; Photo - chairman Nobuyuki Idei gets the Times treatment: An article about the challenges - the biggest being how to converge the content and electronics sides of the business - facing Sony disguises what seems to be a personal ad to American analysts, as in "You can like this man!" Idei "offers a blend of hard-headed economics, well-reasoned social psychology and technological mumbo jumbo." HOT! Also:

Dressed in a gray turtleneck and a loose-fitting jacket for an interview, he looks like the professor he almost became. His father, who taught economics at Waseda University and was the first Japanese member of the International Labor Organization, had wanted his son to follow in his footsteps.

In conversation, he is animated in discussing a multitude of ideas. He is fond of movies, particularly French films, and listens to opera, jazz and pop music. He loved the old Atari video games, a surprising admission from the chairman of the company that makes PlayStation, the most advanced player on the market.

Mr. Idei is such a fan of Audi cars that he sent the company's president a list of proposed improvements that were actually incorporated into the latest TT models.