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'One Sony' Plan De-Emphasizes TV

4/12/2012 10:47:01 AM Eastern

Tokyo - New Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai revealed a corporate turnaround
plan here Thursday that as
previously reported
will involve a global downsizing costing 10,000 jobs,
and a shift in product focus away from TVs to portable/mobile electronics, gaming
and digital imaging.

Kazuo Hirai

Under the so-called "One Sony" plan, the company will seek to
turn around the television business, but it has highlighted three other sectors
as its top revenue generators. The company will also expand business in
emerging markets, create new businesses and realign its business portfolio while
optimizing resources.

The 10,000 jobs to be eliminated in 2012 will come, in part, by selling
off non-core businesses and restructuring others, Sony
said.

The company said it will take a one-time charge of $926 million
for restructuring costs this fiscal year.

A company statement revealed plans to raise operating-profit
margin to 5 percent, have a return on capital of 10 percent, and to cut fixed
costs by 60 percent at TV operations.

Going forward, Sony, which has seen a cumulative $8.8 billion
loss from TV operations over the past eight years, will cut TV operating costs and
reduce its model assortment. Hirai said the unit, which he is personally
overseeing, will still look to achieve the profit goals originally outlined by
former CEO Howard Stringer in 2005.

The remaining TV operations will continue to develop and
commercialize OLED, Crystal LED and 4K technologies, and will expand sales in emerging
markets and medical applications.

As TVs are de-emphasized, Sony will step up its focus on digital
imaging, gaming and mobile electronics, with a target of having the "three core"
businesses achieve 70 percent of revenue and 85 percent of operating profit in
the year ending March 2015.

Hirai, who took the helm of Sony this month after directing Sony's
successful PlayStation game business, said in February it would be "very
difficult to imagine Sony getting out of the TV business."

Sony, which was worth more than $120 billion in 2000, is now
valued at $19 billion. In comparison, rival Apple is valued at $584 billion and
Samsung is valued at $164 billion.

Sony announced it is also considering an alliance on batteries
for electric cars and will consider selling or forming alliances in businesses
that are losing money, offer little growth potential or lack synergies with its other
core electronics businesses.

Sony reported that it has cut 66,500 jobs across four
restructuring plans since 1999.