Sony Chief Lays Out Plan To “Revitalize” Electronics Business

CEO Kazuo Hirai says his effort will result in major changes in the television and mobile businesses — and confirmed his plan to slash about 10,000 jobs this year, equal to 6% of Sony’s employees worldwide. But he adds that it will also enable Sony to generate $104.9B in revenue with at least a 5% operating margin and 10% return on equity in the fiscal year that ends next March. Digital imaging, gaming and mobile will be the “three main focus areas” of the electronics business.

Sony says gaming should deliver $12.4B in revenues and an operating margin of 8% in the fiscal year that ends in 2014, with sales boosted by growth in the number of downloadable titles for its PlayStation and an expansion of the the number of devices that will work with the console. For mobile, the company is consolidating its smartphone, tablet, and VAIO computer businesses to “quickly develop and deliver compelling products” — including some built around rich content such as music and games. Hirai may face his toughest challenge in turning around Sony’s TV set business. He plans to reduce costs with a 40% cut in the number of models the company sells. Meanwhile Sony will integrate sets with mobile products, provide more movies and music for them, and concentrate on “next-generation display technologies” such as OLED and Crystal LED Display.

He also sees a big opportunity to develop high-end and professional products that use 4K technologies, which  offer images with four times the resolution of HD. Hirai says that he will use Sony’s movie, TV, and music entertainment assets to help drive sales of products in emerging markets including India and Mexico.

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