Thursday, April 12, 2012, 01:15 am PT (04:15 am ET)
Sony shedding 10,000 jobs as new CEO promises changeSony's new CEO Kazuo Hirai announced on Thursday an aggressive plan to turn around the ailing electronics titan that will result in 10,000 job cuts.
Hirai revealed at a new conference in Tokyo that the company's annual loss will reach $6.4 billion this year, almost twice that of earlier predictions, as noted by Reuters.
"We have heard a multitude of investor voices calling for change," Hirai said. "Sony will change."
According to the report, the change will come with a restructuring charge of 75 billion yen ($926 million). The company hopes to reduce fixed costs for its TV unit by 60 percent next fiscal year and cut operating costs by 30 percent.
The loss of 10,000 jobs results in a 6 percent reduction in Sony's workforce on top several rounds of layoffs in recent years. Hirai, who took over in February, has promised to take any necessary "painful steps" to improve the company's fortunes.
The company isn't alone in its struggles. Fellow Japanese TV makers Sharp and Panasonic have also fallen upon tough times.
"Japan's consumer electronics industry is facing defeat," Reuters reported Fujio Ando, senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management, as saying earlier this week.
Rival device maker Apple is now worth more than 30 times as much as Sony in terms of market capitalization. The company's chain of successes have threatened Sony's businesses. For instance, the iPod has replaced Sony's Walkman as the modern music player, while the iPad and MacBook Air have disrupted the company's PC sales. The rise of iOS as a viable gaming platform has hurt Sony's PlayStation profits.
Difficulty in the smartphone industry led Sony to take full control of its joint venture with Ericsson earlier this month. The company paid $1.4 billion to buy out its partner. Even as Apple's iPhone has taken in a growing portion of the mobile phone industry's profits, Sony Ericsson lost 247 million last year.
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