Sony slashes jobs to streamline smartphone supply chain

Sony’s announced plans to cut 1,000 jobs from its handset division, Sony Mobile – one in seven of its workforce.

The cuts come as part of a global restructuring that will see the company’s headquarters moved to Japan from Lund, Sweden, where the bulk of layoffs is likely to be concentrated.

The company’s struggling in the face of overwhelming competition from Apple and samsung, and says it’s making the changes to speed up time-to-market and streamline supply chain management.

“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,” says 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.”

The vast majority of the job losses – some 650 staff, plus over 300 consultants – will come in Sweden, with the cuts expected to be staggered over the next eighteen months. That site, says Sony, will in future focus on software and application development.

Sony Mobile became a fully-owned subsidiary of Sony in February this year, after Sony bought Ericsson out of the joint venture. It’s now got a smartphone market share of just 4.2 percent, according to Gartner.