Sony to cut 10,000 employees in ‘One Sony’ restructuring

12 Apr 2012

Sony confirmed it would cut 10,000 staff globally as part of a major restructuring of its business to become more competitive.

In a press release, Sony said some staff would be transferred outside the Sony Group as part of the sale of businesses and aims to secure these jobs at new destinations.

The job cuts come as part of Sony’s new business initiative – called ‘One Sony’ – in order to strengthen its core business, expand into emerging markets, realign its resources and boost its television business.

Sony will evaluate other businesses and will form alliances and business transfers based on these analyses. The company estimates that its restructuring costs will amount to US$926m. It aims to target sales of US$10.5bn and operating income margin of 5pc by March 2015.

Core businesses

Sony is making its digital imaging, gaming and mobile departments the three main focus areas of its business and will concentrate investment and resources into these areas. It hopes to generate 70pc of total sales and 85pc of operating income by March 2015.

For digital imaging, it will develop its image sensors, signal processing technologies and lenses and will use them in consumer products and broadcast and professional products.

For gaming, Sony will continue to focus on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita consoles, along with the PlayStation Network. It aims to increase sales by growing its catalogue of downloadable games and subscription services on the PlayStation Network and by expanding the PlayStation Suite mobile devices and content.

As for mobile, Sony will fuse the R&D, design engineering and sales operations of its smartphone, tablet and PC businesses to innovate faster.

Television business

Sony has been struggling with its television business, so the restructuring will see it aim to make this business profitable by March 2014. It will improve design engineering efficiency and reduce the number of production models in the market by 40pc to reduce business costs.

It will also boost the image and audio quality of its BRAVIA TV range and plans to advance the development of next-gen display technology, including OLED and Crystal LED display. It will also further integrate movies and music into its mobiles and will differentiate its hardware.

New businesses

Sony will target mid- to long-term growth in its medical and 4K-related technologies. The company launched medical printers, monitors, cameras and recorders already and aims to boost this sector. It will also create medical equipment components for applications such as endoscopes.

The company also aims to enter the life science industry, where it will leverage technologies such as semiconductor lasers, image sensors and microfabrication. It recently acquired cellular analysis equipment firm iCyt and diagnostics tech firm Micronics to help to enter this industry.