Sony Corporation has slashed its workforce by 17,000 as part of ahasis to digital business. massive restructure to focus the organisation on its PlayStation and digital business.
The reorganisation was announced on 9 March and was seen as a move away from the leisure giant's traditional consumer electronics business of televisions, videos and walkmans, and a leap towards the digital technology world. As a result, Sony will close 15 manufacturing facilities.
The axing of 17,000 or 10 per cent of Sony staff will be accompanied by the 're-training and reallocating of employees from analog to digital businesses and from hardware to software operations', a representative at Sony said.
Sony Computer Entertainment, which was jointly owned by Sony Corporation and Sony Music, will be fully absorbed into the parent company through Sony Corporation's decision to make Sony Music a wholly owned subsidiary.
Sony Chemical and Precision Technology also become wholly owned subsidiaries.
The aim of the Japanese parent is to reduce its business model from 10 to four units - Sony Computer Entertainment, Home Network Company, Personal IT Network Company and the Core Technology and Network Company.
Nobuyuki Idei, president of Sony Corporation, said: 'With the ongoing evolution in digital network technology, the three pillars of Sony Group - electronics, entertainment and insurance and finance - are facing rapid changes.' He added that to counter this, there would be an increase in R&D funds over the next three years.
'We are committed to creating lifestyles and providing new forms of enjoyment to people in the network-focused society of the 21st century,' Idei said.
Commenting on Sony's restructure, Nick Gibson, analyst at Durlacher, said: 'Games are predicted as representing 51 per cent of Sony sales this year and, last quarter, the games unit outsold the entertainment division.
This restructure simply underlines Sony's commitment to its profitable areas.'
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