Sony to slash 10,000 jobs as CEO pledges improvements
Published Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:29AM EDT
TOKYO - Faced with mounting losses, Sony Corp. said Thursday it will slash 10,000 jobs, or about 6 per cent of its global workforce, and turn around its money-losing TV business over the next two years.
New CEO and President Kazuo Hirai outlined his business strategy at a press conference where he pledged to revive the electronics and entertainment company. Sony earlier this week more than doubled its annual net loss projection for the fiscal year through this past March to 520 billion yen, or US$6.4 billion. That would be its fourth straight year of red ink and worst loss ever.
"As CEO, I take this very seriously. But at the same time, it strengthened my resolve to transform Sony," Hirai told hundreds of journalists. "Employees too want to restore Sony to its former glory and go beyond."
Sony, whose businesses run from digital cameras and personal computers to PlayStation game consoles and movies such as "The Smurfs," has been battered by competitors including Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. For years, it has been struggling to regain the swagger and innovative flair that made it a dominant force in the 1980s and early 1990s.
"Sony will change. I've fully dedicated myself to changing Sony," said Hirai, 51, who took over the helm from Welsh-born Howard Stringer this month.
Hirai said he was committed to strengthening the company's mainstay electronics business -- which includes digital cameras, games and smartphones -- by concentrating investment and technological development in this division. He aims to boost its share of overall company sales to 70 per cent by the year through March 2015 from the current 60 per cent.
Through cost-cutting, Sony will make its TV business, which has lost money for eight straight years, profitable again by the fiscal year through March 2014, he said.
To cover the job cuts and restructuring efforts, Sony will take a 75 billion yen charge this fiscal year.
Sony also will also seek new growth in emerging markets such as India and Mexico, and expand its lineup of medical equipment, Hirai said.