Sony set to cut 10,000 jobs in restructuring push

Sony will cut 10,000 jobs globally, or about 6 percent of its workforce, this year as part of a restructuring plan under its new president, Japan’s largest business paper reported Monday.

The Nikkei, without citing sources, said the job cuts will likely bespread over development, manufacturing and management, in contrast topast reductions that have largely come through selling or combining itsfactories.

Sony has already said it willshave about 5,000 workers through spinning off several non-corebusinesses, including its chemical operations and its small andmid-sized LCD (liquid crystal display) screen production, and the10,000 figure will include those cuts. It is still unclear what portionof those employees will keep their jobs after they are transferred outof the company. The article did not specify where the other cuts wouldcome.

A Sony spokesman said the company had no comment on the report whichcomes days before Sony President Kazuo Hirai, who officially took hispost last week, is to address the media about his plans to turn thecompany around. Hirai will address a press conference on Thursday atSony’s Tokyo headquarters about his corporate strategy.

Sony, which has estimated it lost US$2.7 billion during the fiscal yearthat ended in March, is moving to refocus on its core consumerelectronics businesses such as smartphones and tablets as well asnetwork services. The company has suffered from the strong yen and lastyear’s massive earthquake in northeastern Japan, but has alsostruggledto compete in key areas like TVs, and has piled up massive losses evenas main competitors like Apple and Samsung have announcedrecordprofits.

Hirai has repeatedly said that jobs cuts are a possibility and that noarea of the company is off limits. He takes the reigns from HowardStringer, who took over in 2005 and also cut thousands of workers whileselling off company assets to raise cash.

As of the end of March, Sony had 168,200 employees worldwide.

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