Kaz Hirai confirms 10,000 job cuts as cost of 'One Sony' reorganisation

Kaz Hirai confirms 10,000 job cuts as cost of 'One Sony' reorganisation
Sony has confirmed it will lose 10,000 employees over the next 12 months as part of a major restructuring exercise designed to reinvigorate the company's electronics business.

Hidden within a lengthy press release detailing an intended transformation of the company, Sony claims the unspecified job cuts will allow it to optimise its resources as it looks to chase down its rivals in various sectors of its business.

The total also includes staff who will keep their jobs in parts of the company that will be sold off to third parties.

Heads will roll

"As Sony moves to strengthen its core businesses and shift resources to growth areas, it will also restructure its headquarters, subsidiaries and sales company organisations in order to further enhance operational efficiencies," said Sony in the release.

"As a result of these measures, Sony estimates that the headcount across the entire Sony Group will be reduced by approximately 10,000 in FY12."

No detail is given as to where within the company the jobs will be lost, though speculation has previously suggested it's Sony's TV business that will take the biggest hit.

In regard to mobile, however, Sony does note it is looking to "integrating the R&D, design engineering, and sales and marketing operations of its smartphone business" following the rebranding of Sony Ericsson – a strategy that could itself lead to a streamlining of staff.

Mobile momentum

Either way, Sony says mobile is a focus, claiming it's looking to use its "communications technology expertise and knowhow" to "launch new mobile products and establish new business models."

"Additionally, by integrating operations across its entire mobile product lineup, Sony aims to achieve further efficiencies and optimisation," Sony adds.

"As a result of these measures, Sony will target sales of ¥1.8 trillion (around $20 billion) in FY14 from the mobile business [which includes phones, tablets and laptops], and significant profitability improvement."

The company also states its downloadable library will be key to building a base for PS Vita, which is currently struggling to gain a foothold in the handheld market. Expanding PlayStation Suite's catalogue, it's claimed, will be key.

All change

The news comes after Sony projected a ¥520 billion (around $6.4 billion) loss in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2012, in part due to a ¥300 billion tax accounting expense.

In response, newly appointed CEO Kaz Hirai claims the company will rally around the 'One Sony' mantra, designed to bring the various strings of the firm's massive organisation together to improve efficiency.

It's a move Sony has struggled to implement in the past, but one Hirai is adamant can be achieved now.

"We have heard a multitude of investor voices calling for change," Hirai told a news conference, quoted by Reuters.

"Sony will change. Sony has always been an entrepreneurial company."

[source: Sony]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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