Money Matters - Simplified

Panasonic contemplates halving headquarter workforce

Panasonic has already reduced staff in hard-hit segments such as televisions and cameras. The besieged company aimed to achieve a 50 billion yen group net profit in 2013 by implementing various cost cutting measures.

Japanese electronics behemoth Panasonic Corp is contemplating a staff cut at its headquarters in Osaka.

The move comes in the wake of dismal last year financial results wherein Panasonic incurred a massive Y772.1 billion ($9.7 billion) net loss.

The maker of Viera TVs and Lumix cameras intends to streamline its business by reducing half of the around 7000 people working at the headquarters.

Retirements and Transfers Likely

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the job cuts would entail early retirement schemes as well as transfer to other departments.

This is not the first instance of job cuts at Panasonic. The electronics manufacturer had earlier announced group-wide job cuts. The headquarter jobs, however, had hitherto remained exempt from such cuts.

“This is an indication that the new management is seriously pushing forward with restructuring and no exceptions can be made,” an insider said on the condition on anonymity.

Kazuhiro Tsuga’s Mission

The newly elected president Kazuhiro Tsuga, due to take his post in June, intends to speed up decision-making at Panasonic and revive its sagging TV business.

The company is expected to start parleys with labor in July. The finalized decision is likely to be out this fall.

“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 Panasonic spokeswoman was quoted as saying to AFP.

Panasonic is not the only Japanese consumer electronics to be reeling under severe profitability pressure in recent times. The likes of Sony and Sharp have also witnessed a decline in earning primarily because of intense competition from South Korea's Samsung Electronics and the iconic Apple Inc, which has literally remodeled the consumer gadgets market.