Spare a thought for the Sony Mobile staff based at Lund, Sweden. Around half of the work force will be laid off in a cost-cutting exercise. Staff at the Lund base were informed of the decision at a meeting in Malmö earlier today. The number of staff will be cut from 2,200 (including 400 consultants) to 1,200.
“We had a meeting with all of our employees where the CEO (Kazuo Hirai) presented the structural changes from April 1st,” said Bengt Arne Molin, Sony Mobile’s chief executive in Sweden. “It has to be done even though it is painful and difficult for many to accept. But we will still be among the largest employers in the region and one of Sweden’s leading hi-tech companies. Sony’s future is at stake, we need to be profitable over the longer term,” he added.
Employees have commented that silence fell in the room once the news was announced. “We had expected layoffs, but I think the number surprised many. It feels that way, at least judging by reactions” said Seved Andersson, vice chairman for engineers’ union Sveriges Ingenjörer.
Negotiations between the company and the unions are expected to take a number of months. Sony Mobile released a statement on the decision:
“To create long term profitability Sony Mobile has made a decision regarding a new organizational structure from April 1st, 2015. The goal is to create a more operationally efficient and fast-moving organization.”
Thanks Andrew, Andreas and Jerry!