Sony selling PC business, reforming TV unit, and laying off 5,000 people

PlayStation maker to sell VAIO business to Japan Industrial Partners and spin off TV business to be run as wholly owned subsidiary.

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PlayStation maker Sony today revealed drastic changes to its PC and TV businesses, and announced plans to lay off 5,000 employees around the world. First, Sony announced that it will sell its VAIO PC brand to Japan Industrial Partners Inc. (JIP), meaning the company will no longer plan, design, and develop any PC products.

The decision to leave PC behind and instead focus on its mobile product lineup was made after a "comprehensive analysis of factors," Sony said, including the "drastic changes" in the global PC industry and Sony's overall business portfolio and strategy. Sony and JIP expect to complete the sale by the end of March 2014.

Regarding changes to Sony's TV division, the most dramatic news is that Sony will spin off its TV business and operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary. This transition, aiming to help Sony "further enhance its TV business' profit," is expected to be complete by July 2014.

The newly formed TV unit will "shift its product mix" to focus on sales from high-end TV models in the upcoming year. This includes strengthening Sony's 4K lineup, while also bolstering the company's 2K models. For emerging markets, Sony said it will develop and launch models "tailored to specific local needs," though no other details on this initiative were provided.

As a result of these major changes to Sony's PC and TV businesses, the company announced that it expects to lay off 5,000 people by the end of the fiscal year. This includes 1,500 in Japan and 3,500 overseas.

This news comes from Sony's latest earnings report, which was released today. We'll have more from the report soon, including data concerning the PlayStation business.

Discussion

386 comments
mbounce88
mbounce88

In my experience Sony's products have always been solid. From 1997-2008 all my mom bought were Sony Vaio computers. The lasted FOREVER and ran as expected. The TVs from the past were always good. I would buy a Sony TV if I could afford because I always think there quality is great.. All the Playstation's I remember were pretty solid, PS 2, 3 and now 4 (so far). To bad this is happening. Atleast PS4 is proving to be very awesome and its early

megakick
megakick

Sony is downsizing. Sony use to have a lot now Sony has a little.

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

unless sony starts focusing on its horrible software and scales back on its random, questionable hardware ideas, their company is gonna keep bleeding.

wyan_
wyan_

The only time I ever see a Vaio is in a movie.

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

I'm always sorry to hear about people losing their jobs, and hope they can find alternative employment soon. :(


Nevertheless, I think that selling off the PC part of the business is a good move for Sony, because 'badged' computers have seen a marked decline in demand in recent years.  Spinning off the TV business also makes sense, because it has been bleeding money for a long time.  Hopefully these changes will help Sony get back into a good position and offer stability for the long term.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

Sony's playstation brand and division has bandaged very poor decisions made by its CEOs during the last decade. Everything from Bravo tvs to hospital equipment to over priced poor designed electronics. The fact is, the old guard at Sony have never liked the PlayStation division (it was a childrens toy) and they have always wanted to get back to factory manufacturing of electronics and goods 'they' grew up with and made a name for themselves with. But the days of Walkmans, boomboxes and color tvs with remotes have passed. The CEOs decision while well meaning have just been terrible. 


I hate seeing soo many people laid off for bad decisions of very few but hopefully Sony will grow much stronger and hire many many more people back...   "at severely reduced pay", Hermes of course. 

hadlee73
hadlee73

I'm sorry to see so many jobs were lost because of this, even if it was an inevitable move by Sony.

chev7758
chev7758

Oh no, Sony is doom. They need to go 3rd party before it's too late lol.

divinejester
divinejester

This is a good move, their PC branch was probably one of their biggest money losers. It was about time they started restructuring and if the team they have in charge overall is half as good as the team leading the ps4 they should be okay. Only thing is they should have done this sooner.

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

I know that some people wondered when the gates of Hell opened and Facebook users came pouring in. At first it started with the usual 1-3 word sentences but, as time went by, we are seeing more and more complete sentences. Not many people realize that but for them it's a huge step forward...

Facebook users: Don't write and drive at the same time. Keep your hands on the wheel!

As for Sony: true, they were leaders when it came to TV, now Samsung is. Samsung is a giant with his nose in everything, very hard for anyone to go against them. Even Apple saw it's ass kicked by Samsung in terms of smartphones sales, even if it won an ephemeral ictory in American's court, which was to be expected. (Imagine who would've won if Samsung was American and Apple Korean.)

When time came for me to get an HD TV I went Samsung too. Better image quality, better price. What else can I say? These companies are dependant on the capricious nature of the consumers, in which they played a major part by pushing them to constantly adopt new toys. Now it's the era of tablets and smartphones, until people are tired of them and look for kicks elsewhere.

Wayne G Ezard
Wayne G Ezard

Sony should not be laying anyone off with the money there making

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

So nothing to do with their PC gaming department then ? was confused for a moment lol

jnader
jnader

This sounds like Sony is really trying to gain a focus on what their future is going to be, but it's just so unfortunate that so many people have to lose their jobs over it.  Really sad for all those people.

Darkeus
Darkeus

For anybody saying Sony is in trouble, not quite accurate.

All this means is Sony has abandoned their PC business and is restructuring their TV division.

That is it, that is all.  Has nothing to do with anything else. The VIAO brand was overpriced and their TV's are getting beat by Korean companies. This is probably a smart move for them.  Remember, Sony is a lot more than just the Playstation.

raddys2001
raddys2001

Poor sony the playstation brand is doing well but everything else in their company is going downhill

Tomcat2007
Tomcat2007

i guess a lot of people were gaming on VAIO laptops?  Just wonder why this is an article on GameSpot.

Dan Offerdahl
Dan Offerdahl

it's a terrible company that hasn't made a good product in over a decade. Samsung & LG are kicking Sony's ass.

James Clark
James Clark

Agito Yoshiro for some finding and getting a job is easy. Especially in certain parts of the world. But with 1500 being let go in japan and 3500 being let go overseas, can't be that easy. That's 1500 people looking for the same type of job. If there are more than 1500 jobs in that field, no worries.

Josh Couch
Josh Couch

Not recently fellah. It's a fact that Nintendo is not selling as well as either of them recently. Yes, if your going for total numbers since there inception then they are but I'd be silly not to see there decline.

William A Dean
William A Dean

robert you opinion is invalid do some research before u make stupid remark next time!

James Clark
James Clark

Nick McCabe it wasn't towards you. The person that it was directed to either deleted their comment or gamespot removed it.

Chris Dye
Chris Dye

stop being a microsoft hater Robert this has nothing to do with a division that microsoft is not even really a part of this is sony pc hardware and the tv market.

Nick McCabe
Nick McCabe

Financially speaking as a total corporation, Sony is the worst of the 3.

Josh Couch
Josh Couch

Oh and 15-18 billion is not struggling....... so they have to be the highest grossing business for them to be successful? Come on. You have to think about about the amount of competition they deal with with tv's and PC's. Nintendo had the video game market on lock down until playstation showed up and gave them some competition and then Microsoft came into play. Now Nintendo is the worst of the 3.

Robert Madsen
Robert Madsen

they build things that work, i would rather a sony world than a monopolistic microsoft world...

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@SpicaAntares  There was GE, Wilson, Epson, IBM, RCA, Stearns Electonics, omg Electrolux .. Sony has been a powerhouse for nearly 50 years in the small to large electronics and industry, but really terrible decisions by its CEOs has really made this new millennium a hard one. They have milked away alot of talent and money from the playstation entertainment division to shore up those bad decisions but it could not last. It is okay, Samsung a healthier, hungrier company with a crazy drive for quality and future forward thinking will take its place and someday another company will take Samsungs. 


I for one will be glad when the era of tablets and smartphones pass : it has created too many dumbass people who think they are smart because they can google something and feel they add to the conversation. You are not the smartest person in the room because you can look something up on the internet - it is the guys in the room who invented it.   


FAcebook is full of people who quote knowledge but none of whom earned it or understands the work it took to get it. 

divinejester
divinejester

@SpicaAntares I have a Samsung and love them, but lets not kid ourselves, I only bought a Samsung tv because it was cheaper than a Sony. If it comes to smart phones all I want is a samsung, but as far as other techs, eh, they are good but not the  best.

Master_Hermes
Master_Hermes

They just posted a $1.1 billion loss (something this article fails to touch on), not to mention the massive debt they're in. Sony hasn't made money in a while, they've been on a steady path toward the grave for a while and, unfortunately, one successful product isn't going to change that.

raddys2001
raddys2001

Sony is only making money with the PS brand and have not done anything innovative for a long time and have been trying to catch up with their competitors.  They are getting crush by companies like Samsung and Apple in electronics and have not turn up a profit and it was reported that their stock is worth nothing so they have to make ends meet somehow in order to survive and unfortunately that includes firing people.  

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@SteamyPotatoes  Sony could have ruled the PC market, made chumps of Dell, and Gateway. But overpriced and poorly (sometimes questionable) design hinder their PC brand. The majority of high end pc sold are for business and gaming - not for licensed restrictive pc buyers who want to spend alot but get little back. 


Without a doubt Sony should have intergrated their playstation and entertainment division into their pcs during the late 90's and early 2000. Crazy ass proprietary restrictions with their music formats, video, and programs made it impossible to use Sony pc with anything out there. They should have stuck with business and gaming, multipmedia pcs. All-in-ones sale well at low end markets like K-mart but super high priced AiO need to perform a specific function. 


Well thats my take on it and alot of journalist who I have read for 30 years now. 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@Darkeus  no no Sony is not in trouble, but have been needing to separate their divisions from some very bad decisions over the last 2 decades by an old guard ceos. The lay offs are just terrible but hopefully they will be able to hire those people back and many more. 

raddys2001
raddys2001

@Darkeus  


You got that right companies like Samsung and Assus are making better PCs then Sony at a cheaper price.  And it probably is a good move for them. 

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@raddys2001  Yes, poor Sony only made $13.6 billion off their music and films divisions.

They are doomed, hurrr

jnader
jnader

@Tomcat2007 Because Gamespot reports on all things relevant to gaming, and I assure you even though it doesn't appear to be, it is quite relevant.

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

It's not likely that all 1500 people are from the exact same department or even from the same branch for that matter. Sony is a global corporation and its probably safe to assume these jobs were spread over a variety of fields in different regions of the country.

tom2750
tom2750

and as a gaming company Sony is the best of the 3

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@jenovaschilld @SpicaAntares

One of the major strength of Samsung is the fact that it's so big in Korea they can buy the government they want, the politicians they want. They have been involved in corruption but no one in Korea dares speak loudly about it. Newspapers are afraid of loosing publicity revenues. As for individuals, unless you want your career coming to an abrupt stop you keep your mouth shut. One of the administrator wrote a book about it. Showed how the CEO thought of himself as the local King, ruling on everyone and disregarding any laws.

hystavito
hystavito

@jenovaschilld @SpicaAntares  Hate to break it to you, but that age of dumbasses on smartphones and tablets is not going to pass :).  I don't really agree on the dumbasses part, but the smartphones and tablets are here to stay.

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@divinejester @SpicaAntares

BTW, they really are huge. The Samsung group is into shipyards, leisure parks, armament, nuclear industry, construction, insurance and so on... much more than just phones and fridges.

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@divinejester @SpicaAntares

Not only are they cheaper but they do have a beautiful image. When I shopped for mine I went in many stores, looked at all brands, and as far as image quality goes Samsung came on top. What struck me was when the picture is bright, like a blue sky or blue water, the color itself changes progressively without banding, like the one I saw on Sony's and others.

My monitor is also Samsung and my fridge too. Can't say they're the best cause my previous monitor, a Samsung also, died on me after a short few years. It was an LCD screen with fluorescents. This one is LED and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. As for the fridge; had problems keeping its temperature in the freezer section. Had to fix it myself by changing a probe. What I'm talking here is a fridge only 5 years old. Never saw a fridge break before that, and certainly not after 5 short years. On the other hand it was the biggest for the price and has a design I wanted.

Giarccpsn
Giarccpsn

@raddys2001  Sony are not Firing people, they are making Layoffs.  Two different things. 

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@raddys2001  I see you're ignorant to the fact that Sony produces about 25% of the movies you hear about every year, if not more.

The fact that you mixed up stock price with credit rating was a dead giveaway that you're speaking out of your rectum.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@SpicaAntares @jenovaschilld  True spica, Samsung has also known to use companies that help make parts and support items (detergent, chemicals, plastics, paper, clothes) from factories that border North Korea infusing that regime with billions of dollars a year.  This makes their very strong industry run even cheaper and the chance for a unified Korea or some form humanitarian change to North Korea much less likely.  You can do a quick wiki search - South Korean owned/ run factories that use tens of thousands North Korean workers/ slaves sending more money to its dictatorship then any of its people. 


Meanwhile, South Korea government lets this go on as it is a powerful source of labor and goods for very cheap, much like our county was built on slave labor from blacks, indians, chinese, and contract immigrants irish, polish, mexicans. 


I will say this though, Samsung does have talent and foresight, their products quality is very high and foreward thinking.  Is it because they are able to absorb risk related to passing over humanitarian environmental rules? or established talent with even better talent coming from some of the best schools on earth in south korean?