Sony Mobile has certainly dropped from its previous high atop the smartphone pile and the Japanese manufacturer has announced that almost 1000 of its Swedish workforce will be let go as part of a wider restructuring initiative, which is designed to push the handset maker towards profitability.
The layoffs – at one of Sony’s key manufacturing and R&D centres – consists of 575 staff and 400 contract positions, covering both administrative positions and technical staff. The cuts will mean that Sony’s Swedish workforce will be reduced by almost half, with only 1200 employees remaining in the Scandinavian country.
Earlier this year, the company announced that the handset maker would lay off 2100 employees in its mobile division, bringing the total to around 5000 employees and last week, the company announced that its North West Europe President was also leaving the company as part of the wider restructuring shuffle.
In a statement to TechCrunch, the company confirmed the cuts were part of the wider restructuring efforts:
As part of its ongoing measures to drive transformation into a profitable and sustainable company, Sony Mobile will change its organizational structure effectiveApril 1st, aiming to increase its operational efficiency and transitioning it to a leaner, more agile organization.In relation to these changes to its organizational structure, Sony Mobile announced today that approximately 1,000 employees and consultants in Lund will be affected by job closures. This number is included in the approximately 2,100 global headcount reduction announced at Sony’s earnings announcement on February 4th, expected to be completed by the end of FY2015. Sony Mobile filed a redundancy notification (“varsel”) with the Swedish authorities today in this regard.Lund will continue to be an important site for Sony Mobile, with its main focus on software development, and Customer Services.
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Sony have been widely reported to consider selling its smartphone division but the company has denied these claims. Earlier this year, Sony vowed to make the division profitable by next year and the company’s latest handset – the Xperia Z4 – was announced last month. The Xperia Z4 may be perfect for Japan but its European variant – which goes under the Xperia Z3+ moniker – is certainly not the flagship smartphone we were all waiting and hoping for.
Whether these improvements and changes are enough remains to be seen, but with the company dropping off the Top 10 global smartphone makers list, the immediate future certainly looks bleak.