Sony said late Wednesday that it plans to get out of the PC business and restructure its TV business to focus largely on higher-end models.
Roughly 5,000 jobs will be cut as part of the moves, Sony said.
The Vaio PC unit will be transferred to Japan Industrial Patners, with Sony stopping the design and planning of new computers with sales and manufacturing to stop after the spring. JIP is expected to focus initially only on the Japanese market, though it may expand from there. Sony said about 250 to 300 Sony employees will go to the new venture, with Sony looking to transfer other employees within the company, where possible, and offer early retirement to others.
On the TV side, Sony said that in its next fiscal year it will shift its products to focus more on high-end models, especially of ultra-high-definition 4K TV sets where the company is a market leader. The company said it plans to speed up and broaden its cost-cutting efforts, further reduce its manufacturing operations and split out the TV unit into a wholly owned subsidiary.
Sony also said the TV business won’t reach profitability in its current fiscal year, as it had originally planned. However, Sony said the new changes are being made “with the aim of establishing a structure capable of delivering stable profit beginning in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.”
CEO Kaz Hirai said at CES that 4K TVs would be a focus, but hinted that further restructuring of that business might be needed.
“If and when this commoditization of 4K TVs comes along — and at some point it will — we need to have an organization that is working as efficiently as possible with the lowest cost but with the highest quality … to make sure we are withstanding the wave of price reductions that we will inevitably see,” Hirai said.
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