Sony to cut nearly 10,000 jobs worldwide

In 2008 Sony axed 16,000 jobs

Sony Corp. plans to reduce its workforce by an estimated 10,000 jobs, or about 6% of its global workforce. The move is a part of new Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai’s restructuring plan, people familiar with the matter commented to the media.

The jobs cuts could run through the two fiscal years until March 2014, although the final timing has not been settled.

The potential lay-offs are the first fresh details to emerge of Hirai’s restructuring plan–due to be announced at a corporate strategy meeting Thursday–since he replaced Howard Stringer as CEO of Sony in April.

Around half of the headcount reduction is expected to come from two restructuring moves already announced by the company.

Last month, Sony said it reached a deal to sell its chemical products business to the Development Bank of Japan. It also spun off its small- to medium-sized liquid crystal display operations to Japan Display Inc., a newly formed venture, backed by the government, Sony, Toshiba Corp. (6502.TO) and Hitachi Ltd. (6501.TO).

Sony has said those two deals will move as many as 5,000 jobs outside of the company.

The remaining cuts are expected to come partly from the television division, where Sony is expected to lose money for an eighth straight year, the sources said.

The restructuring plan will be the company’s second major overhaul in four years. The last large-scale jobs cuts came in late 2008 during the global financial crisis when Stringer axed 16,000 jobs and closed a number of factories. As of March 2011, Sony had 168,200 employees worldwide.

According to Nikkei‘s sources, Sony might also request that its seven executive directors — including Stringer — return their yearly bonuses.

Sony hasn’t officially confirmed the report, but Hirai is set to brief the company’s business plan on Thursday, April 12.

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