Sony Adds To Job Woes With Staff Cuts And Factory Closure

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Sony has added to the gloom on the jobs front after closing a factory and axing 2,000 of its workforce

Electronics giant Sony has become the latest tech giant to add to the gloom and doom surrounding the jobs market, after announcing a fresh set of cutbacks.

Sony said it would cut 2,000 jobs, as well as close a mobile phone and lens factory in central Japan. In addition, it was reported that some workers at Sony’s headquarters in Tokyo will lose their jobs.

Internal restructuring

Sony had approximately 162,700 employees globally as of March this year. But in April the Japanese consumer electronics giant announced it would cut 10,000 jobs, or six percent of its global workforce, as it suffered record losses.

It said that the latest cuts are part of its restructuring programme announced in April.

Since that time the company has been examining its internal structures, and in August it was reported the Sony optical drive manufacturing division was to close as part of an ongoing restructuring programme at the company. And in the same month it was also revealed Sony was planning to cut 15 percent of its mobile division.

Sony had acquired the entire Sony Ericsson mobile phone division last year, and promptly renamed the group Sony Mobile.

Job cull

Sony announced on 19 October that it would axe approximately 2,000 people from its head office as well as from its mobile phone and lens factory in the Gifu Prefecture, central Japan. At Sony’s Tokyo headquarters, 20 percent of staff (or 500 or 600 workers) are to be handed their pink slips.

“As Sony concentrates its mobile phone business on the area of smartphones, the operations currently being carried out at the Minokamo Site relating to mobile phones will be partially discontinued and partially transferred,” it said in a statement.

Most of the reductions are expected to come from early retirements and transferring workers to other divisions.

Sony anticipates an annual reduction in fixed costs of approximately 30 billion yen (£236m) from the fiscal year ending 31 March, 2014

Sony’s job cutting is the latest in a long line of job cuts among the world’s tech giants. AMD has just revealed it will axe another 15 percent of its workforce, or 1770 jobs. This comes on top of the 10 percent workforce reduction at AMD last year.

Likewise telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent has just outlined plans to cut around 5,500 jobs.

Elsewhere HP, Nokia, Dell, Research in Motion, and Motorola are also losing tens of thousands of staff, in a depressing litany of redundancies.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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