BREAKING NEWS: Mass Sackings At Sony OZ

Written by David Richards     05/03/2014 | 12:59 | Category: INDUSTRY

Sony Australia has moved to slash staff numbers with insiders claiming that "at least 20" people have been laid off today, among those to have departed is Company Secretary Ian Morgan.

The "organisational changes"  have been confirmed by Sony Australia, in a statement to ChannelNews:

"In line with Sony Corporation's Feb. 6 earnings announcement outlining global headcount reduction, together with the decision to cease ranging VAIO products in the ANZ markets as of June 2014, Sony has implemented some organisational changes resulting in a number of redundancies across ANZ."

Sony did not confirm the number of staff affected but said:  it "impacts a number of employees across Sony's sales, marketing and support functions."

Sony who are reeling from losses has struggled across several markets in Australia and it is now believed to moving to cut their losses after reporting a 23% decline in revenues, locally. Last month the Company announced that they were getting out of the PC market.

Last year Sony Australia moved to retrench most of their finance department after being hit $32 million for back taxes and $21 million in penalties and interest after an ATO investigation.

When ChannelNews contacted an employee at the Company today they were in tears, sobbing over the phone. 

Contacts at the Company have told ChannelNews that moral at the Company is at "an all-time" low and that some parts of Sony's business in Australia could be closed down completely. 

"Two staff will be kept on till December" said one source. 

Recently Sony Corporation announced that they were streamlining their global operations in an effort to cut costs.

One of the first victims of the ATO investigation and the decision to outsource their Australia finance operations was Nicholas Foster, the former chief operating and finance officer also departing the Company last year was CEO Carl Rose. 

The decision to hit Sony with massive ATO penalties and back taxes claims followed an ATO investigation relating to Sony Australia tax returns for the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

But 2014 has not been any better for Sony, who are about to exit its once strong PC market. 

Retailers locally have confirmed they are in talks with Sony Australia about their exit from the PC market with its Vaio range. 

Just last week, Sony closed 20 major stores in the US with up to 1,000 employees about to be sacked. 

In similar vein locally, Bing Lee were forced to close two Sony shops it operated in Sydney after they failed to attract footfall, last year. 

The move has cast doubt on rumours that Sony was looking to open their own operated stores in Australia.

"While these moves were extremely tough, they were absolutely necessary to position us in the best possible place for future growth," said Mike Fasulo, president and COO of Sony Electronics, said following the Us closures last week. 

"I am entirely confident in our ability to turn the business around, in achieving our preferred future, and continue building on our flawless commitment to customer loyalty through the complete entertainment experience only Sony can offer."



In its latest group financial statement, Sony forecasts global restructuring charges to jump by another 20 billion yen to approx 70 bn yen (A$ 766 m) for fiscal year to 31 March 2014, up from previous forecasts. 

"The increase of 20 billion yen in the current fiscal year is due to the implementation of certain measures to mainly address Sony's reforming of its PC and Television businesses," it said. The company plans allocate a further 70 billion yen (approximate) in restructuring charges for FY15. 

Sony also downgraded FY 14 sales forecasts of smartphones and Home Entertainment & Sound devices, last month.