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Sony Corp. to cut 10,000 jobs, or 6% of global workforce

April 09, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai will helm what the company hopes will be a sharp turnaround in its fortunes
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai will helm what the company hopes will be a sharp turnaround… (Josep Lago / AFP / Getty Images )

Sony Corp.will cut 10,000 jobs, or 6% of its workforce, as the Japanese electronics conglomerate and its new chief executive try to wiggle back into the black.

The company’s new head, Kazuo Hirai, will confirm the reductions in what is sure to be a heavily watched briefing on Thursday, the country’s Nikkei newspaper reported Monday.

Hirai, who took over from Howard Stringer earlier this month, must attempt to steer Sony from its predicted fourth consecutive annual loss back to fighting form against stronger device-making rivals such asApple Inc.

Much of the employee scale-backs will come from Sony’s deeply unprofitable television business, which has been losing money for the better part of a decade to lower-cost competitors such as Samsung and Vizio.

Roughly half of the job cuts will stem from recent deals, including Sony’s sale of a chemicals company last month and a spinoff of its LCD production capabilities into a joint operation with Hitachi and Toshiba last year. The company had more than 168,000 employees as of March 2011.

The Nikkei was unclear whether the bulk of the payroll reduction would happen in Japan or overseas, though its sources said the cuts could happen by the end of the year. Sony has already cycled through several rounds of severe layoffs, which have claimed tens of thousands of jobs since 2005.

Stringer, who is now chairman of the board, and six other top executives are expected to relinquish their bonuses. Late last month, Sony Corp. of America made Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Michael Lynton chief executive and shifted leadership of its electronics and video game units to Japan.


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