Sony Corp. to cut workforce by 6%, posts $2.7 billion net loss

Posted Apr 9, 2012 by Andrew Moran
Japanese media outlets are reporting that Sony is expected to axe about 10,000 jobs, or six percent, from its global workforce. This comes as the newest CEO Kazuo Hirai will announce the company's restructuring plan this week.
The struggling Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. stated recently that it will lose $2.7 billion by March for the fourth consecutive year. It also replaced former CEO Howard Stringer for 28-year company veteran Kazuo Hirai. With the new CEO taking the reins, a major shakeup is expected.
According to Nikkei and other Japanese media, Sony will reduce the number of its international workforce by 10,000 (six percent), which is just one aspect of Hirai’s restructuring efforts – the full details of the plan will be espoused Thursday at a press conference.
Sony spokespersons George Boyd and Yoni Yasukouchi would not confirm the reports to the media, but the Wall Street Journal notes that sources close to the situation have verified that the job cuts will take place over the course of the next two fiscal years.
Approximately 5,000 jobs will be lost when the company reorganizes and sells its chemical unit and merges its LCD panel with Hitachi and Toshiba.
The remaining number will most likely come from its television department after it experienced its eighth consecutive year of losses. Hirai, who is believed to be the one to make its PlayStation console profitable, is going to bring in a brand new team of experts and make himself head of its TV business.
“I expect the new president, Hirai, to cut unprofitable sectors and rebuild the company,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co., in an interview with Bloomberg News.
This isn’t the first time that Sony has conducted such drastic measures. In 2005, Stringer cut between 10,000 and 30,000 jobs and closed 11 factories. In 2008, during the height of the global financial crisis, Sony shed another 16,000 jobs and shut down quite a number of factories.
As of March 2011, Sony maintains a worldwide workforce of more than 168,000 employees.