Japan’s Sony Corporation plans to cut 10,000 jobs—6 percent of its global workforce of 168,200—over the next two years, according to media reports that surfaced Monday.
Newly appointed CEO Kazuo Hirai is expected to announce a restructuring plan that includes the job cuts at a corporate strategy meeting Thursday. Sony’s once thriving electronics business has lost money for the last four years, prompting the massive cost-cutting measures. The plan reportedly calls for cutting 5,000 jobs through the sell-off of the firm’s chemical division, with the remaining 5,000 job cuts distributed across Sony’s global operations.
Forbes magazine ranks Sony 75th in global sales. The company has divisions in music, movies, computer games and electronics. Its last major restructuring was in December of 2008, when 16,000 jobs were cut.
The downsizing of Sony, an icon of Japanese capitalism and long a symbol of its technological and marketing power, highlights the continuing impact of the world economic crisis that was triggered by the Wall Street crash of September 2008. Far from the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of the banks and the brutal austerity measures imposed in Europe, the US and Japan solving the crisis, there are mounting signs of renewed slump.