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Sony Slashes 10,000 Jobs 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-sony dept.
redletterdave writes "Sony will cut about 10,000 jobs, which equates to about six percent of its global workforce, by the end of the year. The move comes after the Tokyo-based electronics firm more than doubled its loss forecast on April 5 to $2.9 billion, and the recent hiring of a new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, on April 1. Hirai looks to downsize Sony and pivot the company in a new direction to get out of the red for the first time in four years. The company will reportedly sell off its chemical products division, cutting about 3,000 workers in the process, and also make cuts within its small and midsize LCD operations. Sony did not say if it would cut these jobs in Japan, abroad, or both."
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Sony Slashes 10,000 Jobs

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  • by CoderExpert (2613949) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:08PM (#39620351)
    Just wanted to note this before slashdotters get all jiggly about the evilness of PS3 and Sony's music divisions. They are actually Sony's most profitable divisions, and it seems like Sony wants to cut out the less profitable divisions like chemical products. PS4 is already in the production and as noted on Slashdot before, will contain even more DRM [slashdot.org]. So this is not really "news for nerds" at all, as it's completely different divisions of Sony that will get the cut.
    • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:23PM (#39620519)

      LCD manufacturing and chemicals used in batteries very much are news for nerds.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        AFAIC, any news about a company that would deliberately install malware (XCP) on customers' computers, remove paid-for features afer a sale (OtherOS), and store sensitive customer information in plain text on an internet-facing database is news for nerds.

        Normally people losing their jobs makes me sad, but I'll make an exception for Sony employees. As a victim of XCP I'll throw a big party when that God damned company ceases to exist. If you ARE a Sony employee, WTF is wrong with you???

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm sure that they are. The problem is that a Sony monitor (for example) just doesn't carry the same brand name weight as it used to. And when was the last time Sony had a big name in consumer electronics outside of the Playstation? The Walkman is a histroical footnote nowadays...

      • by Dogtanian (588974) on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:40PM (#39621389) Homepage

        The Walkman is a histroical footnote nowadays...

        It's worth remembering that the Walkman was *the* portable music player for almost two decades. Sony was a big company with brand recognition and the resources to develop devices that would continue that lead into the MP3 era. The market was theirs to lose.

        But they squandered the opportunity [slashdot.org], letting *Apple* become the dominant player. (Circa the mid-to-late 90s, I'm sure that the suggestion that Apple- a company that was primarily a personal computer manufacturer back when that was a very different market to audio entertainment- was likely to take over their dominant market position).

        Much as I dislike aspects of Apple's behaviour, their foresight in developing and promoting the iPhone- even though they would have known that it would eat into classic-style iPod sales- cannibalising their own product, rather than letting someone else cannibalise it, and reaching even greater heights in the process- contrasts sharply with Sony's protectionist, insular, NIH approach to file-based digital media and the MP3 age.

        • by Dogtanian (588974)
          Bad editing, should read:-

          Circa the mid-to-late 90s, I'm sure that the suggestion that Apple (back then still primarily a personal computer manufacturer, with no experience in what was back then the very different and separate consumer audio market) would even be a threat to Sony's dominance would have had their executives in fits of apoplectic laughter.
    • Not sure what's evil about the system that allows Steam and cross platform play...
  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:16PM (#39620453)
    I understand they're still looking for rootkit developers.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They probably needed to make more room for a legal department. As I understand it, their "right to extract a profit" is expected to kick in soon, and there are whole lotta citizens who haven't lined up for their collar, yet.

    • I was actually just thinking, 6%? Yup, that would just about account for anyone left with a shred of morality in the company.

  • I'm hoping... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:18PM (#39620469) Homepage
    They'll close their DRM-peddling division. Of course with my luck Sony will be repositioning themselves as a DRM company
    • Re:I'm hoping... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anrego (830717) * on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:33PM (#39620639)

      Sounds like they are going full steam ahead with DRM in PS4 (playstation and music still being profitable (possibly the most profitable) sections of Sony). This just sounds like they are trimming some fat so to speak. Ultimately most of the people who care about DRM are probably pissed off enough with Sony not to buy the PS4 anyway, so there really is no reason for them to get away from it.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      Of course with my luck Sony will be repositioning themselves as a DRM company

      That would be a good thing, in a way. Certainly make it easier for the pirates.

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      Furthermore they are probably kicking out all their security experts, as they have been of no use.
  • by jameskojiro (705701) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:19PM (#39620477) Journal

    Maybe they should fire the shovelware writers that write the stuipid applets that sys inthe syste tray that get installed when ever you install a device driver for a sony peripheral.

    Gee, I install the SONY monitor and now I have a systray applet eating CPU time and whatnot and while it supposedly is supposed to help me control the monitor but it leads itself in the tray so it doesn't "Take so long to startup" when I run it that one time to adjust the monitor settings.... When running it from the start menu and waiting an extra 2 seconds for it to load is going to take more time than the cumulative 30 minutes over the lifetime of the PC that is wasts because it slowing everything else down with it's CPU usage and memory consumption....

    Sorry, I just hate installing drivers and having to install stuipid shit that I have to go back and remove after every damn driver install. Drivers are "supposed" to be only the driver, I don;t need no damn systray applet for USB Hub, Printer, scanner, DVD writer and LCD monitor.

    • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:58PM (#39620931) Homepage

      My mom just got a Vaio laptop. It comes with about 20 preloaded apps. Some seem vaguely useful though (it has a fingerprint reader, does Windows 7 include built-in support for those? It doesn't seem to so the bundled app seems necessary). It also has an annoying Dock-type top bar that appears whenever you try to restore a maximized window and move your mouse too far up. And if you tap or hold the Windows button you get a nice keyboard that shows you all the Win+Key keys. At least it would be nice if it didn't do an annoying distracting popping motion whenever you tapped Win for the start menu. And mom wants most of it around "just in case" she needs it.Oh and the keyboard has specialized buttons specifically to launch some of these applications.

      At least I got rid of Bing Bar, some webcam app, Norton trial (she claims she declined some offer, but it was still running in the tray), and Office trial.

      Also I got to try out Ninite which was pretty awesome, except when I needed to rerun the actual setup utility for foobar2000 to install the freedb component.

      • by Kittenman (971447)
        Vaio, eh? My local laptop place allows people to purchase extended warranties on all laptops except the Vaio. 'Nuff said

        And those colours!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_rootkit [wikipedia.org]

    never forget, never forgive

    • Re:sony rootkit (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anrego (830717) * on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:40PM (#39620743)

      Most of their customer base never cared. Even when it was plastered on the mainstream news, the average reaction was "well, that was naughty of them".

      The relatively small number of us who do care are a tiny blip on their profit statements. Yes, some of us influence big purchasing decisions at our workplaces.. but realistically it doesn't matter to them.

      Remember, when the PSN got hacked.. the absolute loudest cry wasn't about personal info getting stolen, it was that the network was down and games wouldn't work. This is Sony's customer base and they know it.

      Playstation and music are still very profitable sections of Sony.. and I suspect they will keep right on doing more of what they've been doing. This just sounds like them cutting out some of the less profitable chunks of their business and not Sony getting what _should_ be coming to them.

    • It was despicable but it was just one division (a joint venture at that) and it was 7 years ago so I think it is time to move on.

      I would have been happier if there had been a proper apology but I still think its time to move on.

      Disclosure - I did work at Sony from 2005 until 2011 but on the electronics side. If the root kit had become public a few months earlier I would have turned the job down. I have no current obligation to Sony.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:18PM (#39621133)

        I say we don't move on until at least one Sony exec serves serious prison time for using their music CDs as a vector to install a virus onto users PCs.
        An ordinary hacker would have served time, but because Sony is a super-criminal with countless victims they remain free. Not acceptable.

      • by NeverSuchBefore (2613927) on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:31PM (#39621259)

        It was despicable but it was just one division (a joint venture at that) and it was 7 years ago so I think it is time to move on.

        I'm not going to "move on" when they still have the same exact attitude: harm your customers (with DRM) to stop the big evil pirates. I'm tired of collective punishment. One recent and obvious example of this mentality is the removal of OtherOS (some people like to justify it by saying that harming only a few of your customers somehow makes it okay). Another is the planned DRM for PS4.

        No, they haven't changed. At all. They had no reason to.

        • Come on now. Do people really believe that DRM protects products from piracy?

          • Some people seem to. It doesn't in 99% of cases.

            But you know what? I don't care if it does or doesn't. I believe it's wrong to hurt your customers trying to hurt pirates. It makes me wonder how anyone can defend this practice.

            • My point was that use of DRM is easily excused by saying "pirates", but the real motivation behind it is to limit the rights of paying consumers. Pirates break any DRM, so it doesn't really affect them.

      • by PRMan (959735)
        I usually implement 10-year bans myself. Well, basically 1, 10, life. Sony has had enough 10-year bans in the last 10 years to qualify for life at this point. I will NEVER buy another Sony product again.
    • by s.petry (762400)

      Seeing this is rather sad. Why? Play "Steam" much? How about any EA game that requires Origin? Wait, how about Windows having to phone home in order to function? Go ahead, upgrade your memory and see if it warns you that you changed your system and have X more changes before you are invalid to run Windows.

      Was Sony right in what it did? No

      Do you pay for and allow much worse? Yes, though you will say "nuh uh, Steam does not use my information for marketing."

      • Play "Steam" much?

        No. But Steam is as bad as a rootkit? What makes it as bad (I don't use it)?

        Origin is simply garbage (like all DRM). I specifically try to avoid any products with DRM. I also don't see how you got the idea that the person you replied to uses any of the things you mentioned.

        Was Sony right in what it did? No

        What was the point of the rest of your comment if you acknowledge that the actions of other companies don't make what Sony did okay? Just to remind people not to use DRM, or something else?

        • Steam is similar to Origin, in that it's a game management system. In general, I use it for cheap games (I'm willing to put up with DRM if I'm getting 80-90% off of a game). The original draw of the system is that you can load Steam on a new computer, install whatever games from your account, and start playing from your cloud-saved game. It's DRM, but it's some of the least-onerous DRM I've ever used (provided you don't want to play 2 different games off the same account simultaneously...)
          • I heard that origin was an order of magnitude worse than Steam. And I highly doubt it's anywhere on the level of Sony's rootkit, as he implied it was (I know you didn't say it was).

            One thing I don't understand, though, is why Steam isn't just a platform for selling games. Kind of like Good Old Games. They sell you the game, and after that, it's completely yours. No DRM, and the games wouldn't be tied to Steam. Although, you could still have the option of tying it to Steam (not sure if that would have any be

      • by GuB-42 (2483988)

        Steam may be a little bit evil (it is DRM after all) but at least, it is useful.
        By useful I mean that some features are available to steam users that pirates don't have such as a big part of online play, friend lists, automatic updates, etc... So much that I know people who actually bought a game after they played a cracked version. They wouldn't have done this it with a SecuROM game.

        On the other hand, Sony's rootkit is a pure nuisance.

  • by MDillenbeck (1739920) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:27PM (#39620561)
    I wonder how many millions of dollars bonus the CEO will earn by cutting the workforce so drastically...
  • by vlm (69642) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:27PM (#39620565)

    The company will reportedly sell off its chemical products division

    So what is sony chemical division, like if you buy Sony-brand acetone then you can only use it in Sony-brand test tubes? Sony-brand chemical storage only holds Sony-brand hydrochloric acid that costs 10x as much as commodity HCl? That's how they run their electronic division...

    I LOL when I thought of it, but I'm seriously betting they sell a line of completely incompatible ground-glass-joint glassware for chemists. Like instead of standard 14/20 taper, theirs is probably 16.335/23.235, that spec is trademarked and copyrighted up the wazoo, and costs 10 times as much as normal glassware and they aggressively sue anyone trying to use it with normal taper glassware. (On a slightly related note, what is it with you european chemists, on this side of the pond we use two tapers, "big and small (14/20 is the small)" yet we're taught that you guys have something like 10 mutually incompatible tapers... whats up with that... I would think you metric EU people would simply have the one taper to rule them all but no we're told you've got a dozen in common use)

    • I'm a chemist in the US, and I routinely use about five different taper sizes. Then again, I'm also a process chemist, so I routinely work on anything from 25 mL to 22 L or more.
    • > --"Science flies us to the moon. Religion flies us into buildings." - Victor Stenger

      "Religion gave us buildings, Math gave us the financial crisis, with people being evicted from their buildings".
      Well I think you can make dozens of such inane comparisons.

      Nothing prevents people from being atheist and respectful of logic, and yet people persist pitting religion against science. What if somebody advanced enough does things that mechanical/probabilistic models in current science can't explain? You'd find

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:36PM (#39620681)
    There was a time - in the 80s, 90s - when Sony was perhaps THE company to buy quality products from. A Sony CRT TV or VCR was sturdy, reliable, and offered a high quality (visual) experience for the time. A Sony Walkman or Discman was, again, a quality product that was most usable and dependable. A Sony Betamax or VHS home-video camera, and later its much smaller (digital) handycams would, similarly, give you a quality home video experience. Then, at some point, Sony started going downhill in terms of corporate philosophy: Putting proprietary, expensive & incompatible Sony memory-sticks into Sony digital cameras? Selling 60GB HDD videocameras with no manual focus-ring, and not entirely reliable always-on autofocus? Putting DRM on music CDs, in PC Games, and all over the Playstation 3 experience? Branding handycam lenses "Zeiss Vario-Tessar" to lure buyers, even though the lenses are manufactured by Sony, not Zeiss (Sony just bought the right to call them "Zeiss" lenses)? Selling large, heavy, expensive LCD TVs while advertising that they include the fantabulous "Bravia Engine" (a collection of very, very mediocre video sharpening/upscaling/color/contrast algorithms). Sony Vaio laptops that are seriously expensive, while offering only very mediocre hardware specs? Killing HD-DVD, then failing to offer a decent (low) price on BluRay players and movies. Being a main player in demanding that all HD content be played back through HDMI cables - what was so bloody "wrong" with analogue HD cables? While Sony was slowly loosing its "focus on the user experience" and on "end-user and buyer sattisfaction" in particular, once far lesser brands like Korean Samsung zipped onto the scene with products that look, perform and, overall, please better, and without Sony's premium pricing attached. I'm sorry that Sony has fallen so low. It used to be my go-to brand for consumer electronics. But Sony isn't a company that learns from experience. I personally think that Playstation 4 will flop badly - at least initially - if Sony persists in forcing hardcore DRM and always-on-internet-to-play type shit on PS4 gamers. Wake up, Sony! Wake up before your corporate-crapfest-philosophy costs another 10,000 or 20,000 Sony employees their jobs. (Will Sony actually wake up? Not a chance, I think. PS4 will quite likely wind up being a horrid DRM fest that may actually drive some gamers back to gaming on a PC...)
    • by berashith (222128)

      I thought that the previous CEO came from the movie or content division, and led the company away from being a tech focus to a content provider. All directions from that decision lead to the problems that you mention. For many years now ( possibly 10) I have refused to buy any Sony product. The new CEO has a chance to change things back. I dont know his history of plans, but I am willing to pay attention to them for the next few years and maybe consider purchasing something if they can fix their reputation.

      • by dryriver (1010635)
        I don't know who precisely is responsible for Sony's relationship/reputation with its users going downhill. All I know is that Samsung makes damn nice looking/feeling quality electronics for a very competitive price, and that unlike Sony, Samsung isn't engaged in any of the nastiness (proprietary components, DRM, HD format wars et cetera et cetera) that Sony has been spewing at its users for the past decade. A new CEO taking over at Sony? GOOD! I hope that he's "awake-awake" enough to fix the crazy, user-un
        • by JTL21 (190706)

          Samsung does do DRM on many products, took part in the HD format war (what was wrong with it anyway) leaving the only nastiness proprietary components (presumably memory sticks) which some products don't have. Samsung is a massive powerful tough competitor, they make some quality gear now. I have a feeling that they will be seen as the bad guy within the next 5 years.

          Lobbying to lower blu-ray prices would probably be illegal under anti-trust law. Removing DRM on the PS4 would be brave move, a mechanism for

    • This often happens with companies who produce high quality goods. There comes to a point where they need to target consumers who want less expensive products. Especially when a competitor comes in and starts to take some of their thunder away. Now the company has a few choices.
      1. Keep up with high quality products and try to market it as worth the price. This could risk not getting the consumers attention or not really worth it and they will go with the cheap competitor alternative.

      2. Lower their product
    • Sony had a "reputation" for being THE company to buy from, but I'd found that there products looked good but were fairly poor quality. I spent a bundle on a Walkman that was barely larger than a tape case only to have it crap out on me less than a year later from a torn ribbon cable that connect the door (with all the controls on it) to the body. Went back to Koss and never had another problem with my big clunky walkman. Friends had similar issues with Sony TVs and VCRs. I'd almost learned my lesson, then i

    • by GuB-42 (2483988)

      Sony products are still good.
      I have a lot of Sony products that I bought because they fitted my needs the most, it had nothing to do with brand names.
      For example while "Bravia Engine" may be a collection of crappy filters, IMHO the end result looks better than its competitors image enhancement algorithms. Sure, if you turn it off (an understandable choice) then there is no reason to pay for this feature but for some people it matters. Likewise, some people have no use for a manual focus-ring (they just want

  • by Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:41PM (#39620755) Journal
    So, downsizing their customer base didn't work anymore?
  • Question for Sony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@@@comcast...net> on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:43PM (#39620769)

    How is your war on users going? Is that working out for you the way you expected? Perhaps, just perhaps, your customers are not your enemies? Think about this please, you could be such a great company if not for a small handful of policies.

    • Those sections are bringing in good profitability though.
    • by tgd (2822)

      How is your war on users going? Is that working out for you the way you expected? Perhaps, just perhaps, your customers are not your enemies? Think about this please, you could be such a great company if not for a small handful of policies.

      /. rants aside, the parts of the business that are related, even slightly, to what you're talking about are still doing just fine at Sony.

  • Just thinking if this is about television prices falling, music missteps, or just general lack of customer confidence. There was a time, back in the tube tv days that Sony was the goto brand. They had the best tubes, and the best TV. Now I would be more likely to go with Samsung than Sony, and have in fact acquired two of these. Sony just seems nothing special.

    I don't really know who produces the music I listen to. I am not going to buy a popular recording because of a label. But with all the negati

  • by readandburn (825014) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:45PM (#39620789)
    http://www.sonycid.jp/en/products/ [sonycid.jp] (I'm sorry to post something informative rather than something bashing Sony and/or hilarious "jokes".)
  • The question I had to ask myself with Sony from then on was- have they learned their lesson and can i trust them? Do I want to put this on my computer or do I want to look for alternatives?

    Corporations have to try harder to reduce the number of sociopaths in their hierarchies so a bunch of them can't get together and do something like THAT.

  • by Haffner (1349071) on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:46PM (#39621447)
    Sony's most profitable business? Life insurance. I kid you not.
  • Other than American businesses, nearly every other business in the world is loyal to their nations. As such, they will go to extreme to help their nations. So, yeah, I expect Sony will do most cuts abroad, and then a bit in Japan.
  • I've looked over my shoulder and scrolled, so in my peripheral vision I've read "Sony Slashes Jobs (10,000 Cuts)".
    Well, too late I guess...
  • "The company will reportedly sell off its chemical products division"

    This just boggles my mind, these half retarded asswipes cant even release a music CD without it exploding into a world wide shitstorm and they were allowed to even think about a chemicals division, let alone have one to sell?

    I actually feel scared now, what the fuck else do they have? A nuclear weapons division with its passwords stored on PSN?

    • by xhrit (915936)
      CD's are made out of chemicals. Also film requires chemicals to develop. Sony's chemical division was part of the end to end supply chain strategy, where Sony was in direct control of all the components it's product require to manufacture the products sold by it's entertainment arms. With digital distribution on the rise, and digital cameras having replaced those that use film there is little need for a chemical division.

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