Sony Mobile to relocate to Tokyo: 1,000 jobs lost

Sony's mobile division is to relocate its headquarters from Sweden to Japan, and shed around 15 percent of its workforce -- around 1,000 jobs -- in the process.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Sony Mobile, the new division spun out from Sony's buyout of Ericsson earlier this year, will move its headquarters from Sweden to Tokyo, losing around 1,000 jobs in the process. 

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Credit: Alex Kidman/CNET Australia

The move will see some 15 percent of its staff lost in a bid for Sony to "reduce global headcount" across the board. Sony Mobile's relocation to Japan will take place in October but the redundancies will take place by the end of March 2014. 

Out of the staff layoffs, 650 employees will be affected by the move from Lund, Sweden, to Tokyo, Japan. However, the Swedish city will remain a "strategic site" for Sony Mobile with the "main focus on software and application development," though for what reasons remain unknown.

Sony Mobile also has operations in Beijing, China, which will see its role "redefin[ed]." Details were not given in this morning's press release. Questions have been sent to Sony and we'll update the post if we hear back.

The mobile division's president Kunimasa Suzuki said the restructuring was to align the unit with wider Sony operations, and cited Sony's flagship Xperia brand as "gain[ing] momentum." 

Sony Mobile stands as one of the better-faring divisions at Sony, and was described as one of the firm's "core businesses." Having said that, from all the major technology analyst firms, Sony has failed to appear in the top five mobile device makers in the past year, with Samsung, HTC, Apple, and even BlackBerry maker Research in Motion gaining greater consumer momentum than Sony. 

The mobile division, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corp., gained 133 percent year-on-year in the firm's Q1 earnings earlier this month, largely due to the mobile unit not actually existing a year ago.  

Sony president Kazuo Hirai said earlier this year at the company's shareholder meeting that mobile devices would be one of three areas to refocus the company's efforts on; the other two areas were digital imaging and gaming consoles.

Earlier this year, Sony Corp. announced it would cut 10,000 jobs through April 2013 in the company reshuffle, costing the firm $926 million during the 2012 financial year.

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