Sony to sell PC business, slash jobs

5:55 AM, Feb 6, 2014   |    comments
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Sony will cut as many as 5,000 jobs as the Japanese electronics giant attempts to sell its troubled PC business and focus more on tablets and smartphones.

As part of its fiscal third quarter earnings report, the Japanese electronics giant said it is in talks with Japan Industrial Partners to sell its Vaio PC business, aiming to reach an agreement by the end of March.

It will trim its global workforce by about 3% by the end of March 2015 as it restructures its PC, television and other businesses. Some 3,500 of the job losses will be overseas and 1,500 in Japan.

Sony said 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."

Sony has struggled to keep pace with South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Apple.

The Japanese electronics maker, bouncing back from losses, posted a $266 million profit for the fiscal third quarter, helped by a weak yen and better sales. Sales were up 24 percent to $23.8 billion.

The company said the latest results were helped by a favorable exchange rate, improved sales, especially of its smartphones, and the launch of the PlayStation 4 video-game console.

At the CES trade show in January, Sony showed off a new 11-inch hybrid PC, and announced plans to refresh its lineup of laptops and hybrids.

As part of the earnings announcement, the company said that with the business transfer, it would "cease planning, design and development of PC products."

Shares in Sony ended 1.5% higher in Tokyo-listed trade ahead of the announcement.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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