While Panasonic was getting down and dirty with its 150in plasma TV at CES, its parent company Matsushita has decided that its name, derived from that of its 1918 founder, Konosuke Matsushita, is to be changed to fit the brand that consumers actually recognise, namely Panasonic. While the company says it is regretful to lose the name of its founder, it feels that running all its operations under one banner will help the firms public image by linking the products to their parent company.
The original company started selling lamps and has since come to be one of the biggest consumer electronics players on the planet, primarily through the Panasonic brand so one can't blame the parent company for wanting the credit for those years' work. For all intents and purposes Matsushita was already using Panasonic as its primary operating name anyway, so the change isn't as major or unexpected as it might at first seem.
The only proviso on the change now is acceptance by shareholders meaning that unless they're sentimental types and really want to keep the founders name as opposed to, say, potentially raking in lots more money, then the change should take place as of October this year.