Corp. struggles to return to profit

TOKYO — Sony is set to cut 10,000 jobs, repping 6% of its headcount, according to a report in Nikkei newspaper Monday.

Sony’s bottom line has been battered by slow sales of TVs and other core products. It is expected to record its fourth straight year-on loss for the fiscal year ending in March.

The report comes before new Sony prexy and CEO Kazuo Hirai is skedded to explain future Sony strategy to the media on Thursday, including the rationale for the cuts, which will affect Sony’s 168,000 employees across the globe.

The cuts are expected to hit various job categories, including development, production and sales. Half will come from Sony’s chemicals and small and midsize LCD businesses, while the rest will come from other sectors both in and outside Japan.

The last big downsizing was in December 2008 when then Sony topper Howard Stringer announced that the company would trim 16,000 jobs, primarily in production.

Hirai formally took over from Stringer as prexy and CEO on April 1 with a vow to restore the company’s profitability. Among the business areas in which Hirai and his team plan to expand are smartphones and network services, including the streaming of pics and music.

One business it intends to radically restructure is TV manufacturing, a one-time profit center that has for years been a drag on profits, with no end in sight. Rival Panasonic has cut 40,000 jobs from its own ailing TV biz, with other Japanese electronics companies following suit.

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