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Sony Reduces Worldwide Workforce by 8,000

Amid the struggling economy, Sony (the manufacturer of the Sony Reader) is cutting over 8,000 jobs worldwide which is equal to about 4% of its workforce. The move seems to be preemptive to cut costs and yield better profits. The varying value of the dollar against the yen is affecting overall profits as 80% of Sony’s sales are made outside Japan. Analysts suggest that the cost cutting measures might not be sufficient.

“The entire high-tech market is being seriously hurt,” Miura said. “Japanese companies are all in trouble because of this unexpected worldwide slowdown.”

I heard on the radio the other day that Asian companies do not layoff people as it is considered a loss of face. The San Diego branch that houses the Sony Reader does not seem to be affected but considering a lot fewer people read ebooks than play video games, I admit to being somewhat worried.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

One Comment

  1. Nadia Lee
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 14:38:38

    Actually laying off workers isn’t considered a loss of face. Corporate culture / norm in Japan is very different from that in the States. There are many tiers of employment in Japan, where Sony is based out of, and Sony, just like any other Japanese corporations, will feel responsible for its seishain only. The rest is expendable.

    I’ve blogged about the recent layoffs in Japan and employment tiers a couple of days ago. Refer to the 3rd paragraph if you want to know more about it. I’ve discussed full-time employees and excluded friita and baitos (freelancers and part-timers) because that’s totally different.

    P.S. Sony isn’t stupid. Its executives know it’s going to look awful if they lay off too many Japanese saishain, so they’ll try to lay off non-Japan-based workers and/or their non-seishain, since American corporate workers do not expect lifetime employment.

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