In a effort to cut costs and improve its financial situation, Sony is eliminating two divisions at its main electronics unit, promoting three executives and keeping a close eye on its money-losing television unit, Bloomberg’s Businessweek reported on Tuesday. The Japanese company will shut down its consumer products and services group, which handled consumer-level electronics, and the professional device and solutions group, which handled business oriented products and components. Executive Deputy President Hiroshi Yoshioka, who oversaw the professional device and solutions group, will head the company’s newly created medical business unit. Sony spokeswoman Satsuki Shinnaka said all changes will be effective April 1st and are aimed at speeding up management decisions. On the same date, the company will welcome its new president and CEO Kazuo Hirai. Hiari is largely credited with making Sony’s PlayStation game business profitable and will be looking to do the same with the company’s Bravia television unit, which is expected to post its fourth straight annual loss. More →
Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse said in a note to employees Friday that Sprint will merge the marketing and sales teams of its enterprise and consumer businesses into one body. Hesse said the carrier is restructuring in an effort to better streamline its operations, Reuters reported on Friday. As a result, Sprint is also removing four executives from their roles with the firm. “As the wireless market has evolved, the lines between consumers and businesses have blurred,” Hesse said, according to a note to employees obtained by Reuters. “We believe that we no longer need to support two separate business units, and that it is more logical now to evolve to unified marketing and sales organizations. Because of the enormous investments we’re making this year in Network Vision and in the iPhone, we need to consistently be looking for ways to be more efficient.” Sprint’s chief marketing officer Bill Malloy will run the merged marketing and sales unit. Sprint has decided to remove the president of its consumer services group, Bob Johnson, the president of its integrated solutions group, Danny Bowman, the senior vice president of its corporate development and spectrum, Chris Rogers, and the senior vice president of consumer marketing, John Carney. More →
After Nokia and Siemens failed to sell Nokia Siemens Networks, the joint venture announced on Wednesday that it will cut 17,000 jobs around the globe by 2013 as part of a restructuring move that will focus on services and mobile broadband. “Our goal is to provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services capability to make it all work seamlessly,” Nokia Siemens CEO Rajeev Suri said. “Despite the need to restructure parts of our company, our commitment to research and development remains unchanged, with investment in mobile broadband expected to increase over the coming years.” In addition to the layoffs, Nokia Siemens will cut production overhead and operating expenses by 1 billion Euros per year by 2013, Forbes said. The company explained that the savings is largely expected to come from organizational streamlining but that it will also look to save money in real estate costs, administrative expenses, information technology and more. The layoffs will be a result of site consolidation, moving activities to global centers and the “elimination of the company’s matrix organizational structure.” More →
Cisco could cut as many as 10,000 jobs — 14% of the company’s employees — in an effort to boost profits, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. 3,000 Cisco employees accepted buyouts and early retirement packages, which will cost Cisco between $500 and $1.1 billion during the fourth quarter. While the layoff plans aren’t final, 7,000 more jobs could be cut by the end of August. The move comes as analysts predict that Cisco’s router and switches business will continue to slide into next year, and the company believes the job cuts could save it as much as $1 billion during 2012. “We will provide additional detail on the cost reductions, including layoffs, on our next earnings call,” Cisco spokesperson Karen Tillman said. The call is scheduled for early August. On April 12th, Cisco announced that it was restructuring its consumer business and killing off its Flip video camera arm. More →
Finnish handset giant Nokia continues its restructuring in an effort to trim overhead and return to profitability. The BBC is reporting that the company will cut 4,000 jobs worldwide and jettison an additional 3,000 positions to Accenture — the consulting company set to manage the Symbian mobile operating system going forward. “With this new focus, we also will face reductions in our workforce,” said Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop. “This is a difficult reality, and we are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long-term re-employment programmes for the talented people of Nokia.” The proposed moves are scheduled to take place sometime in 2012. More →
A report filed by Bloomberg paints a grim picture for Nokia Oyj workers the world over. With an announced and looming restructuring in the works, the publication writes that “a reduction in research and development activities is set to be announced by the end of the month” and that “as many as 6,000 jobs” could be cut. Back in February — just days before Mobile World Congress — the company’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, announced that Nokia would adopt Microsoft’s recently released Windows Phone operating system on future smartphones. The announcement also noted that the company would begin to sunset development, support, and research activities centered around the Symbian and MeeGo operating systems — the two mobile operating systems currently utilized by Nokia phones. This reduction in activity translates into a surplus of unneeded, full-time job positions. At the close of 2010, Nokia employed 58,642 people in its handset organisation — 16,134 work in research and development. The company has over 16,000 workers located in Finland, and accounts for just north of 2% of that country’s total gross domestic product.
Via a press release, Blockbuster has announced a “pre-arranged” bankruptcy in order to “recapitalize” and “substantially reduce its indebtedness.” The Chapter 11 filing will take the embattled company’s debt from roughly $1 billion down to $100 million; the filing is for the company’s U.S. branches only. “Blockbuster franchise locations in both the U.S. and abroad are independently owned, operated and funded, and are also continuing normal business operations,” explained the press release. Unfortunately, if you happen to hold some Blockbuster debt — and are not part of the company’s 11 “3/4 percent senior secured note holders” — you’re going to be out in the cold. “Under the proposed plan, there would be no recovery by the holders of the Company’s outstanding subordinated debt, preferred stock or common stock,” reads the filing. Hit the read link for the full release. More →