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Sony lays off 2,000 workers

23 Oct 12

Sony will lay off around 2,000 workers by the end of this year as the company continues its quest to reduce 6% of its overall headcount by March 2013.

The electronics giant will reduce staff by 20% in both their Tokyo headquarters and from its Home Entertainment and Sound Business Group, while closing a factory located in Minokamo, Japan, accounting for a further 840 employees.

Designed to "accelerate structural reforms of its headquarters and electronics business operations in Japan," Sony says it will enforce most layoffs through an early retirement program and resource shifts.

"In order to optimize personnel structure and assist employees to secure new opportunities outside the Company, early retirement programs will be implemented at Sony Corporation, Sony EMCS Corp. and other major consolidated electronics subsidiaries in Japan," Sony said in a statement.

"These measures are expected to result in headcount reduction of approximately 2,000 employees by the end of FY12, with approximately half of the reductions (1,000 employees) expected to be in support functions, including the headquarters of Sony.

"Sony's headquarters operations where organisational integration and optimization have been actively implemented, a headcount reduction of approximately 20% is expected by the end of the current fiscal year through the introduction of an early retirement program and resource shifts.

"Headcount within the Home Entertainment and Sound Business Group, including the TV business group which has been implementing a series of ongoing profitability improvement measures, is expected to be reduced by approximately 20% by the end of October 2012 due to the transfer of employees outside the Company, together with a resource shift in personnel to other operations within the Sony Group.

The closure of Minokamo follows a company shift into smartphones, with Sony consolidating its digital imaging business at the site.

"In order to enhance the efficiency of Sony's manufacturing operations relating to its digital imaging business, the manufacture of interchangeable lenses and lens blocks currently being conducted at Sony EMCS Corp.'s Minokamo Site (located in Minokamo, Gifu Prefecture) will be absorbed by EMCS Corp.'s Kohda Site (located in Kohda, Aichi Prefecture)," Sony said.

"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 to Sony EMCS Corp.'s Kisarazu Site.

"As a result of this realignment, the Minokamo Site is scheduled to close at the end of March 2013."

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