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Sony Corp. is about to finalize plans to slash up to 20,000 jobs worldwide and terminate domestic production of cathode-ray tubes for TVs, sources said Monday.

The electronics giant will probably feature the workforce-reduction program in a structural reform package covering the three years through March 2006 that is due to be announced Oct. 28, the sources said.

The move is aimed at boosting the company’s profitability by pulling out of unprofitable businesses and placing more focus on audiovisual equipment and some other key areas after converging its widespread development, design and production centers.

Also in the works are regroupings of domestic and overseas production bases and the disposal of assets belonging to nonstrategic divisions, they said.

Sony, whose workforce totaled 161,100 as of March 31, plans to implement the job cuts through an early retirement program and hiring curbs, with a restructuring charge of 300 billion yen.

Of the total restructuring costs, 140 billion yen is earmarked for the current fiscal year.

Sony currently produces CRTs at its manufacturing units in Aichi and Gifu prefectures. CRT production is due to be halted by the end of next year and the affiliates will probably be transformed into distribution centers or assembly bases for TVs.

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