Sony's new CEO has announced that the company is to lose 10,000 staff in an effort to revive the fortunes of the flagging electronics giant.
Kazuo Hirai, who became head of the company two weeks ago, claimed that Sony will renew focus on the hit products that made its legacy. "Our goal as Sony is to become a company that offers products and services that inspire our customers," he said.
The normally mild mannered executive spoke forcefully, often raising his voice and holding up a clenched fist, as he repeatedly said he had faith in the company's employees to enact a turnaround. The iconic company has faced unrelenting criticism in the local press in recent months, with prominent newspapers and magazines running headlines such as "Farewell to the Legendary Sony".
Hirai's plan calls for a reduction of global head count by 10,000, or about 6 percent of its total workforce, during the current fiscal year. Some 3,000 of that will come from spinning off its chemical business, with the rest to be determined.
Some portion of the job cuts will come from its struggling TV business, which has lost money for eight straight years. The executive has said he will personally lead a return to profitability in the division and reiterated that Sony has no plans to abandon televisions, which it mainly sells under the Bravia brand.
"Televisions are at the centre of the household, and as a product are an important, core part of Sony's DNA, so the business will continue, especially as a return to profitability has come into view," he said.
Hirai outlined his corporate strategy days after Sony said it likely lost $6.4 billion (£4 billion) during the fiscal year that ended in March, its largest annual loss ever. His plan emphasises growth in the company's core electronics division, with a focus on gaming, smartphones and digital imaging.
"I absolutely believe that Sony will change," he said.
Sony is due to release its official earnings for last fiscal year on May 10.
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