Sony to lay off 10,000 worldwide

Kyodo, Staff Report

Sony Corp., the once high-flying electronics giant, plans to lay off 10,000 employees worldwide, or 6 percent of its workforce, by the end of the year in a bid to regain global competitiveness, it was learned Monday.

The news comes at a time when the Tokyo-based maker is grappling with harsh global competition from Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. and is expecting to log more red ink in the year that ended March 31.

The Nikkei business daily reported Monday that, in addition to slashing 5,000 jobs as part of a reorganization of its businesses for small and medium-size display panels and noncore chemicals, which has already been announced, Sony will cut another 5,000 globally.

The report also said seven senior managers, including Chairman Howard Stringer, are expected to give up their bonuses for the latest year.

Sony declined to comment on the reports. Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai, 51, who replaced Stringer on April 1, is scheduled to explain Sony’s corporate strategy on Thursday.

Sony is one of several domestic electronics giants that have been grappling with the yen’s historic surge and an increasingly competitive TV business. It expects a ¥220 billion group net loss for the year ended March 31, it said in February.

Sony slashed 16,000 from its global workforce in December 2008, following the shock in the global financial market caused by the Lehman Brothers failure.

Panasonic Corp., another struggling giant, expects to post its biggest-ever group net loss — ¥780 billion — for 2011, and had planned to lay off as many as 40,000 by the end of March.