“Sony will change,” promises new president and CEO Kazuo Hirai: “I've fully dedicated
myself to changing Sony.” Hirai, who took over Howard Stringer's
position at the top on April 1 of this year, responded to this week's
dire financial projections – a doubled loss for 2012, signaling its
worst year yet – with a plan for renewal. The plan includes
boosting the company's core areas, among them gaming, Hirai's
previous responsibility and the area in which the CEO made his name.
Sony will also be cutting 6% of its global workforce, it announced.
Above: Hirai, left, and predecessor Stringer
The revised figures put the
company's losses at $US6.4 billion, its fourth straight year of
losses. Hirai says that as CEO, he takes these figures “very
seriously. But at the same time, it strengthened my resolve to
transform Sony.” He says those beneath him share this resolve:
“Employees too want to restore Sony to its former glory and go
To this end, Sony's released a brief (via Joystiq) for what it calls its “One Sony” strategy, whose first
article of business is a renewed focus on the company's core areas.
These include its Game division, which had previously prospered
during the PS2 era with Hirai at its head. The company has announced
a renewed focus on the PlayStation Network, aiming to “increase
sales by enriching its catalog of downloadable game titles and
subscription services.” It also aims to provide more compatibility and
content for the PlayStation Suite, coming to Android devices and others as announced last year.
However, the price paid for
this renewed focus comes in the company's employment figures. Sony
says it will be cutting some 10,000 jobs across the entire Sony group
in 2012, saying it expects to spend almost $US1 billion on
restructuring costs. The company hopes to see Hirai follow the One
Sony plan to a profitable position by this time next year, it says.
Concrete results for the year will be released next month.