updated 08:20 am EST, Tue December 9, 2008
Sony Cutting 16K Jobs
Sony on Tuesday revealed that it would cut a total of about 16,000 employees from its workforce to guard itself against the "acute downturn" in the world economy. The company is officially eliminating about 8,000 positions worldwide in its core electronics business but is also known to be dropping a similar amount from its part-time and temporary ranks. The cuts to permanent employees represent about 5 percent of Sony's total regular workforce of about 160,000.
The cuts will be gradual and aren't expected to take full effect until March 2010; Sony also says it has taken extra steps to improve the company outside of staffing that include closing French plants still making recordable tape as well as others that amount to 10 percent of the company's total manufacturing base. The Japanese electronics giant also plans to cut back on the weeks of inventory it keeps for products and back out of "unprofitable" businesses, though the firm has yet to say which of these might be affected.
The news brings renewed difficulty for Sony, which has improved substantially since taking on Sir Howard Stringer in 2005 and undergoing a major revitalization effort in the years since. Most of the company's impending difficulties are believed to stem from a plunge in demand for its BRAVIA HDTVs as home users try to save money, though the company has yet to truly be successful with the PlayStation 3 or the accompanying Blu-ray format and has typically been one of the smaller players among major PC vendors.