Sony, Omron announce global layoffs

Japanese firms adding to growing list of layoffs worldwide

Sony, Omron announce global layoffs

Major Japanese firms Sony and Omron have announced that they will be reducing their global headcount, joining the expanding list of employers carrying out layoffs this year.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) announced this week that they will be laying off about 900 people, or about eight per cent of their global headcount, across all SIE regions, including the Americas, EMEA, Japan, and APAC.

Several PlayStation Studios will also be affected, including the full closure of the PlayStation Studio's London Studio, according to SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan.

In the UK, the CEO announced that there will be layoffs in the Firesprite studio and on various functions across SIE in the UK.

"I know that receiving this news will be hard and unsettling and you are wondering what this means for you. Timelines and procedures for how we approach this will vary based on your location due to local laws and regulations," Ryan said in his email to employees.

Affected employees in the US will be immediately notified of their status, while a next career support programme will also be initiated in Japan for impacted staff.

"In other countries, we will begin conversations with those who are potentially at risk or impacted as a result of this proposed course of action," Ryan said.

Severance benefits after employee terminations

The CEO said affected employees will receive support, including severance benefits, for their departure.

"For those who will be leaving SIE: You are leaving this company with our deepest respect and appreciation for all your efforts during your tenure," Ryan said.

"For those who will be staying at SIE: We will be saying goodbye to friends and colleagues that we cherish during this process, and this will be painful. Your resilience, sensitivity, and adaptiveness will be critical in the weeks and months to come."

Ryan said the layoffs is part of their "difficult decision to restructure operations" in a bid to streamline resources for the organisation's continued success.

Omron's layoffs

Meanwhile, Japanese electronics firm Omron also announced this week that it will be reducing its headcount by approximately 2,000 employees.

The layoffs will affect about 1,000 employees in Japan and 1,000 employees overseas.

"All the optimisations globally will be implemented in compliance with local labour laws, rules, and regulations," Omron said in its announcement.

For employees in Japan, the firm will launch a voluntary retirement scheme, with those eligible including full-time and senior employees who have been employed at least three years as of July 20, 2024, and who are at least 40 years of age.

Application period for the voluntary retirement programme will run from April 10 to May 31, with their retirement date tentatively set on July 20.

According to Omron, they are reducing their workforce to "optimise total labour costs" in order to "build customer value and achieve profitable growth."

Sony and Omron join the growing list of employers across the world that are announcing layoffs in a bid to reduce costs amid economic uncertainty.

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