Report: Sony to axe 10,000 jobs before end of 2012

By Lee Kaelin on April 9, 2012, 10:00 AM

Japan’s largest newspaper, the Nikkei, has revealed that Sony Corporation plans to axe around 10,000 jobs globally over the next year as part of a restructuring effort led by their newly appointed president Kazuo Hirai, who took over the role as CEO from Sir Howard Stringer on April 1.

The report, which does not cite any sources, suggests that the six percent drop in workforce will be spread over the development, manufacturing and management sectors of the company. That figure takes into account the previously announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs by the spin off of several non-critical businesses, which include their chemical operations facilities and a small to mid-sized LCD production plant.

Nikkei also reports that seven senior executives at the company, including chairman and former CEO Sir Howard Stringer will be asked to return any bonuses. The news comes on the back of estimates for the fiscal year that ended in March, which the games console maker is expected to publish losses of approximately $2.9 billion when the reports are announced in May.

It is not clear if those employed in the businesses they intend to spin off will be able to keep their jobs, but the new CEO has hinted on several occasions that job cuts would be very likely, and no area of the company is considered off limits.

At the end of March, Sony employed 168,200 workers worldwide. The reduction in the workforce, as well as the spinning off of various businesses is intended to improve operational efficiency whilst accelerating Sony’s shift towards mobile devices, having purchased Ericsson’s share of the Sony Ericsson joint venture.

Sony refused to comment, other than saying that newly appointed CEO Kazuo Hirai will be addressing the media about his corporate strategy next Thursday during a press conference at the firm’s headquarters in Tokyo.

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