Sony Hires Consultant To Find $100M In Cost Cuts In Entertainment Unit: Report

The movie, TV and music operation plans to tell investors on Thursday that it has hired Bain & Co to find ways to cut $100M, a sum that “would almost assuredly result in layoffs,” The New York Times reports citing unnamed sources. “As part of a nearly four year process of increasing fiscal discipline, Sony Pictures is conducting a review of its business to identify further efficiencies,” says Sony Entertainment‘s Charles Sipkins. “Our objective is, and always has been, to operate an efficient studio that is uniquely positioned to capitalize on future growth opportunities.” Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton will lead the Culver City meeting this week, a follow-up to a promise that CEO Kazuo Hirai made in August to Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb: After rejecting the hedge fund owner’s proposal to create a new stock for entertainment and sell a minority stake to the public, Hirai said that he would ”increase disclosure regarding Sony’s entertainment businesses. We agree this can help market participants analyze their performance and monitor their success.” Loeb stung the company over the summer, charging that Sony “has plenty of reasons to worry about Entertainment,” which he said generated lower profit margins than its competitors. George Clooney came to Sony’s defense in a conversation with my colleague Mike Fleming Jr, calling Loeb a “carpetbagger.” Hirai said that the board “unanimously concluded that continuing to own 100% of our entertainment business is the best path forward and is integral to Sony’s strategy.” Loeb is an investor in Variety with Deadline’s parent company, PMC.

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