Wednesday 30 May 2012

Panasonic redundancies

-- See? The recovery is on track! -- Rice Farmer

Panasonic mulls cutting half of 7,000 headquarters personnel

30 May, 2012

Panasonic Corp. is considering cutting 3,000 to 4,000 of the 7,000 personnel who work at its headquarters as early as within the current financial year through internal transfers and early retirement, in an effort to reduce costs and streamline the organization, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The Japanese electronics maker's first drastic workforce downsizing at its Osaka headquarters, if implemented, will be discussed by the labor union and the company's management as early as in July, they said.

Panasonic's reform plan is apparently aimed at realizing a recovery of its business performance at an early date by speeding up decision-making process, in addition to cost cuts after logging a massive group net loss in the business year ended March.

The move is also seen as redirecting company resources into new growth areas, such as energy-efficient products and solar panels, transferring some employees at headquarters to the solar battery and other business sectors which are expected to lead the company's business recovery in the future.

Of the 7,000 headquarters workforce, 4,000 belong to the administrative sector, 2,000 belong to the research development sector, and 1,000 work at the production and engineering section.

As for the research development sector, the company is considering spinning it off to a separate unit, the sources said.

Panasonic reported its largest-ever group net loss of 772.17 billion yen for the business year ended March, while slashing its workforce by about 36,000 over the year to some 330,000 as of the end of March.

Under the new leadership of Senior Managing Director Kazuhiro Tsuga, who will be promoted to president in late June, the company aims to streamline its headquarters and other operations to return to profitability in the current business year through March next year.

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