Sharp to dramatically cut workforce as it seeks profitability

Sharp to dramatically cut workforce as it seeks profitability
Close to 20% of Sharp employees will be let go

Troubled electronics giant Sharp is planning a massive employee cull and sell-off of major assets in a desperate bid to return the company to profitability, according to reports that surfaced Tuesday.

Reports from Japan confirm that 10,996 of the company's 57,170 global employees will be gone by March 2014. That amounts to around 20 per cent of the total workforce.

The company will also cut bonuses by 50 per cent and trim back on wages for its remaining employees.

Kyodo News says the sale of assets, including Sharp's stake in Toshiba and some of its international manufacturing factories, will generate a much needed $2.31 billion (UK£1.42, AU$2.22) in cash.

Positive numbers

A Sharp emergency committee, headed by Sharp President Takashi Okuda and set up to oversee the austerity measures, will meet Oct. 1 to implement this turn-around plan.

The committee reportedly said it is aiming for a return to positive numbers during the business year commencing in April 2013.

Going forward, the company plans to strengthen its LCD television business with a greater focus on small and medium screens for smartphones.

The Manjini news service reported that other sectors of the business, including home appliances, office equipment, and solar batteries, will be consolidated into a single company as part of the transition.

The news comes as another report points to production problems at Sharp as one of the reasons the iPhone 5's opening weekend sales were disappointing to some.

Clearly, Sharp is in troubled waters and needs a lift jacket fast.

Via Engadget, Kyodo News, Mainichi

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.