Matsushita changes name to Panasonic

Matsushita Electric Industrial will become Panasonic, shedding the name of its charismatic founder in favor of its more internationally known brand, an Associated Press report said.

The move, coming 90 years after the Osaka-based company's founding by Konosuke Matsushita, underlines the recognition of brand power amid intensifying global competition, the Associated Press report said.

Matsushita president Fumio Ohtsubo acknowledged he had mixed feelings, but the change will bring more value to the company than nostalgia would, the report said.

The name change was approved at a board meeting and will become effective October 1, pending approval at a shareholders' meeting in June.

Matsushita, which makes a wide range of gadgets including flat-panel TVs, digital cameras and car navigation equipment, has been mulling changing its name to Panasonic for some time to avoid consumer confusion.

Konosuke Matsushita's rags-to-riches story and humanitarian views have been the pillar of his namesake company, the report said.