Loss-making Android handset manufacturer Sony Mobile, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, announced Thursday that it would lay off about 15 percent of its global workforce as part of its global operational restructure. The company also announced that it would move its corporate headquarters from Lund, Sweden, to Tokyo, Japan, in October.
The job cuts - approximately 1000 personnel, including consultants - will be rolled out through the financial years 2012 and 2013, to be concluded by the end of March 2014. Around 650 employees across a number of functions at Sony Mobile in Lund will be affected by the staff redundancies while the remaining headcount reductions will be primarily consultants in Sweden.
The company said that by cutting jobs, it seeks to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and drive profitable growth.
However, according to Sony Mobile, the Lund operation is not closing down altogether, but "will continue to be an important strategic site for Sony Mobile, with the main focus on software and application development."
As part of the restructuring, Sony Mobile will also move its corporate headquarters and certain other functions to Tokyo. The company said it had redefined the roles and responsibilities of each major development site.
According to Sony Mobile, these measures would help enhance operational and development capabilities of the company such as time to market efficiency, streamline supply chain management and drive greater integration with the wider Sony group.
"Sony has identified the mobile business as one of its core businesses and the Xperia smartphone portfolio continues to gain momentum with customers and consumers worldwide," said Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO of Sony Mobile. "We are accelerating the integration and convergence with the wider Sony group to continue enhancing our offerings, and a more focused and efficient operational structure will help to reduce Sony Mobile's costs, enhance time to market efficiency and bring the business back to a place of strength."
Sony Mobile is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation, following Sony Corporation's acquisition of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson's 50 percent stake in Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, completed Feb. 15, 2012.
According to Gartner, Sony had a 4.2 percent share of the global smartphone market last year, lagging behind Nokia Oyj, HTC and Research In Motion. Apple was at the top with 18.9 percent market share, while Samsung stood second with 18.5 percent, Bloomberg reported.