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Sony to sell PC business, increase TV focus on 4K products, lay-off 5000 staff

Thursday, 6th February 2014 06:34 GMT By Matt Martin

Electronics giant Sony is to sell off it’s Vaio business to concentrate on smartphones and tablets.

Sony_Vaio

Sony has confirmed plans to sell its PC business – the Vaio brand – to investment firm Japan Industrial Partners, with an agreement set to be finalised by the end of March.

“Following a comprehensive analysis of factors, including the drastic changes in the global PC industry, Sony’s overall business portfolio and strategy, the need for continued support of Sony’s valued VAIO customers, and future employment opportunities for personnel involved in the VAIO business, the company has determined that concentrating its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets and transferring its PC business to a new company established by JIP is the optimal solution,” said Sony.

Around 250-300 personnel are expected to be hired by a new company formed by JIP, with Sony ceasing all manufacturing and planning of PC products.

In the TV business, which has been under reform since 2011, Sony intends to increase production of high-end 4K and 2K TVs. It will also split out the TV business as a wholly owned subsidiary by the end of July 2014.

As a result of the changes, Sony expects to lay off around 5000 employees by the end of the 2014 financial year – 1500 in Japan and 3500 overseas.

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16 Comments

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  1. Dragon

    Good. VAIO never got good profits, so its better to leave it.
    And spinning off TV division is good too, tells them to stand on their own 2 feet or die.

    Although this restructuring will cost Sony a one time loss of over 1 billion dollars this FY.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. super3001

    Sony running out of thing to sell.

    Desperate.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. harr0w

    Sony had a PC business!?!?

    #3 6 months ago
  4. Panthro

    @harr0w

    Yeah, that completely unknown Viao brand…

    #4 6 months ago
  5. Cobra951

    That completely reliable Vaio brand. They are the only laptops I know which will work for years without burning themselves up. You get what you pay for here. Too bad it’s all going away.

    #5 6 months ago
  6. Panthro

    @Cobra951

    I was being sarcastic…

    Your right though, Ive had a Vaio for around 4 years and its still pretty fast, thought the right touchpad button broke and one of the joints from the bottom of screen cracked and then broke off, it had shitty build quality

    #6 6 months ago
  7. fearmonkey

    VAIO are decent machines but they never have been huge sellers, seems smart to sell it off.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. antraxsuicide

    @Dragon Agreed about both divisions. If the TV division wants to waste their time trying to charge too much, then they should be prepared to pay for it. I’m sure it’ll be a shock the first time they check their books and see how much they owe (that won’t be covered by loans against the company as a whole).

    @super3001 I sort of agree. Sony’s got so much debt, and while this will reduce their expenses, it’ll also mean that Sony will have nothing to blame their bad financial reports on. The Playstation will take a few years before it starts turning a profit (as do all game consoles; none of them immediately make their R&D back). It falls on things like mobile to make them some money, which traditionally hasn’t done that. Not good for the company.

    Lastly, my condolences to the laid off workers. 5000 jobs lost is a huge cut, and it seems to have come out of nowhere. Hopefully they get hired soon.

    #8 6 months ago
  9. dizzygear

    VAIO laptops look great but the price/performance ratio is horrible.

    With more and more people ditching their laptop for a tablet this is probably a wise move.

    #9 6 months ago
  10. thegrimmling

    Vaio was always known for being a bit over priced at retail. But owner were generally happy with them.

    #10 6 months ago
  11. Cort

    @super3001 Yup. All they have left is a massive technology division, the biggest gaming console business in the world today, a hotel chain, a big commercial property portfolio, industrial chemicals, one of the biggest battery manufacturing concerns, computer chip and semiconductor manufacturing plants, two banks, an insurance and financial services company, a credit card company, making the camera bits for probably 75% of all smartphones, making disk drives for over 90% of computers and DVD and BD players, a patent catalogue amongst the biggest in the world (dwarfing Apple), huge movie studios, a huge movie distribution company, a huge music conglomerate, the world’s biggest music publishing catalogue, half the rights to the Beatles and all the rights to distribute Bond.

    Far from running out of things, the company is just too damn big and diverse to manage.

    #11 6 months ago
  12. DarkElfa

    Sony’s biggest issue is they are priced like Apple and built like Asus.

    #12 6 months ago
  13. XanderZane

    That’s a big ouch for Sony. They’ve already sold 2 HQ buildings and over 300 million in stocks. Now they are selling their PC/Laptop division and rumors that they with outsource their HDTV to be run as a subsidiary company. The only things they have left now is Phone, Music, Film and Playstation. Sony should have sold theor PC/Laptop division like 2-3yrs ago. They’ve been losing almost a billion on it every year. Sony has a tendency of overpricing their electronics. HDTV Bravia were pretty overpriced as well. The quality of them have slipped too.

    #13 6 months ago
  14. Cathodeo

    People often think that Microsoft is Sony’s competition but those two are working together like a nice little tag team. Sony’s real pain in the backside is Samsung who are making solid headway in all the markets that Sony is faltering in. For Sony’s sake, goodness forbid that Samsung, Amazon or Apple ever enter the gaming market because if that happens then all the anti-MS people out there would all of a sudden have new options instead of PlayStation.

    #14 6 months ago
  15. antraxsuicide

    @Cort They’ve also got so much debt that even if they sell most of those divisions, they’ll still be in the hole.

    http://www.macroaxis.com/invest/market/SNEJF–Sony-Corporation

    A 73% chance of bankruptcy in 2 years. Not good.

    #15 6 months ago
  16. sebastien rivas

    Vaio was and still is unknown by most becauae of price versus component choice.
    It is like a Dell but sold in stores and is an excellent demo/ contrast platform for retailers to shiw how competition do better and for less :/
    Unlike TV or sound, Sony had very little chance in PC laptop world where competition AND services are ultra competitive.

    #16 6 months ago