Report: Panasonic HQ workforce may face drastic cuts

Japanese electronics giant may shed 3,000 to 4,000 employees from its 7,000-strong workforce in Osaka in bid to streamline business and stem losses, reports state.

Panasonic might be looking at an extensive streamlining exercise that could see between 3,000 to 4,000 of its 7,000-strong employee pool in its Osaka headquarters depart as the ailing Japanese electronics giant hope to turn its fortunes around.

According to a AFP report on Tuesday, which cited the Nikkei Business Daily, the culling of employees would be done mainly through early retirements and employee transders to subsidiaries, and talks with local labor unions regarding the changes are expected to begin as early as July.

It added that the streamlining was partly aimed at speeding up decision-making at the headquarters.

"The reports were not something that our company has announced. We are considering reforms of the headquarters, but it's not true that we have reached a decision now," a company spokesperson said in the report.

Panasonic posted a record 772.2 billion yen (US$9.7 billion) loss for the fiscal year ending March 2012, but said it expects to book a net profit of 50 billion yen (US$627.1 million) in the current year, AFP stated.

The Japanese company had earlier announced a change in its top management layer, with current president Fumio Ohtsubo moving upward to assume the chairman role starting Jun. 27 and its head of audio-visual products unit Kazuhiro Tsuga replacing him. The latter had also promised to bring its loss-making TV business back to profit within one to two years.

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