Toshiba Memory America today announced that starting in October it will be called Kioxia America. The name change is expected to affect Toshiba Memory's global businesses, too, with another 14 companies receiving the new moniker around the same time as their U.S. counterpart.
The rebrand to Kioxia (pronounced "kee-ox-ee-uh") could be accompanied by a change in focus at The Company That Will Soon Formerly Be Known As Toshiba Memory (working title). Toshiba's announcement said Kioxia, which is "a combination of the Japanese word kioku meaning 'memory' and the Greek word axia meaning 'value,'" is a better representation of the firm's "mission to uplift the world" with memory products as its foundation.
Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp. executive chairman Stacy Smith said: "I am delighted to take the next step in our company’s evolution as we continue to enhance our position at the forefront of the memory industry. Using ‘memory’ as our starting point, Kioxia will collaborate with people to meet the various needs of everyday life, making the world more interesting and providing long-lasting value to society."
This isn't the first rebrand Toshiba's undergone this year. Toshiba Client Solutions became Dynabook in January, with Toshiba America Client Solutions becoming Dynabook Americas in April and other global divisions adopting the name as well. We said at the time that Toshiba's rebrand probably wouldn't be a big deal--it's not like the company was pulling a Netflix by renaming itself something as bad as Qwikster.
It's harder to justify Kioxia. In its announcement, Toshiba broke down how to pronounce the future name, which is already a sign of obvious challenges. The company's trading in a well-known name that immediately communicates its purpose--selling flash memory products--for something H.P. Lovecraft might have named his least favorite cat.
When I (try to) read Kioxia I think that name was spat out by whatever random brand-name generator that Chinese counterfeiters use on kn ock-off clothes and fake micro-SD cards on Wish and Aliexpress.
I think this name change is a really bad idea.