Sony to Cut 1,000 Additional Jobs in Smartphone Operations

NTT Docomo Inc. President Kaoru Kato Unveils New Smartphones

A Sony Corp. Xperia Z3 Compact smartphone in Tokyo.

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Sony Corp. plans to eliminate another 1,000 jobs in its smartphone operations as the company cuts costs to try to return the business to profit, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The new cuts will reduce staff in the division to about 5,000 after including 1,000 job losses previously announced by the company, the person said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. The cuts will include Sony’s operations in China, the U.K. and Sweden, the person said.

Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida is ending the development of new smartphones for China and is culling the number of Xperia models as Sony struggles to compete with Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. The additional cuts are needed to reach the Tokyo-based company’s goal of reducing operating costs in the business 30 percent by March 2017.

A spokesman at Sony’s mobile phone unit in Tokyo declined to comment. He asked that his name not be used, citing company policy.

Shares of Sony rose 1.6 percent to 2,792 yen as of 9:33 a.m. in Tokyo today. The stock has gained 13 percent this year, compared with a 0.9 percent increase in the benchmark Topix.

The Nikkei newspaper reported the job cuts this morning, without giving attribution. The company is targeting profitability in the business in the year ending March 2017, it said.

Sony in October reported a quarterly loss that was seven times greater than a year earlier as it took a 176 billion-yen ($1.5 billion) writedown at the Xperia phone business and cut its sales forecast for a second time.

The company is ending development of new models for China, the world’s biggest smartphone market, and focusing its marketing on retaining customers.

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