Sony To Lay Off 10,000 As Consumers Desert The Japanese Brand

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With the company bleeding both profits and sales, Sony has moved to cut another 10,000 jobs; these are on top of the 16,000 people they have laid off over the past three years.It’s not known whether Sony Australia will be forced to make any cuts.

The 6% cut comes as the struggling Japanese company gets set to announce another multibillion dollar loss for the fourth consecutive year. 

The cuts are part of a major restructuring plan by newly appointed Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai who inherited the CEO role earlier this year from Sir Howard Stringer, who is now Chairman.

Globally and in Australia consumers are deserting the Japanese brand for new brands such as Apple, Samsung, LG and Google.

Mr. Hirai claims that he is currently focusing on turning around an electronics business that has had four straight years of losses. Sony has failed to match the success of both Apple and Samsung; companies whose quarter profits are more than what Sony has made in four years.  

Recently Sony split off its unit that makes small and midsize liquid crystal displays to Japan Display which is a new government-backed venture of Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi Ltd.

In Australia, Sony has seen sales and profit decline across several categories; however, local Sony CEO Carl Rose has refused to comment on the companies slide from being a premium brand to being a discounter of made in China products.

In the tablet market Sony has had little success with the company moving to discount their S Tablet weeks after it went on sale. Reviewers have also slammed the company’s P tablet claiming that it is an “odd” design that does not sit comfortable as a pocket tablet.

In the TV market Sony has been forced to third part manufacturers. At the weekend LG confirmed that Sony’s new line-up of 3D TVs will be made by the Korean Company.

Last year the Sony shop in Chatswood NSW was closed due to declining revenues.

During the past 18 months several senior executives of Sony Australia have quit including former Sales Director David Hargreaves and Marketing Director Tony Barbour.

Still at the local subsidiary is Sony Australia Communications Manager Jenney Geddes who three years ago tried to stop SmartHouse and ChannelNews writing about Sony’s then emerging problems.

 Geddes at one stage screamed down the phone to SmartHouse demanding that we take down a story relating to the fact that several French employees had kidnapped Sony executives and held them hostage in a Sony establishment after Sony decided to cut staff numbers.
Sony’s new CEO Kazuo Hira says cuts are expected in the television-set division, where Sony is forecast to be unprofitable for an eighth straight year.

This time last year Sony was bragging that they planned to sell selling 40 million sets a year. Hira has cut this back to a target of 20 million units and adjust the size of Sony’s TV-sales operations, Company officials have said.

The Wall Street Journal said the new restructuring will be the company’s second major overhaul in four years. In late 2008, during the global financial crisis, Mr. Stringer eliminated 16,000 jobs and closed factories. As of March 2011, Sony had 168,200 employees world-wide.

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