Panasonic to Slash Headquarters Staff by Half

By Steve Anderson May 29, 2012

Today, Panasonic has more bad news to come with reports from Nikkei that they're planning to dial down their headquarters work force by between 3,000 and 4,000 workers, or around half of their total headquarters staff of 7,000, though the news may not be as bad as first envisioned.

The reports suggest that the cuts will come from a combination of early retirement and transfers to Panasonic subsidiaries, so outright job losses shouldn't be too substantial. Further reports suggest that this is part of a previously-announced set of cuts being enacted now, as opposed to fresh cuts that weren't already in place.

The cuts were originally part of a set of measures geared toward helping Panasonic recover, following the recent posting of a loss that was the worst in Panasonic's entire history. Panasonic, in turn, believes that the cuts will allow it to post a net profit of 50 billion yen—roughly $630 million US—by the end of this fiscal year.

While Panasonic's outlook may be comparatively rosy, further measures are in mind to help achieve those numbers that can't be described as anywhere near as rosy. The spinoff of their research and development and their production technology divisions are both being considered, at last report, and labor talks may kick off starting in July. Some are taking these measures as signs that Panasonic is out to recover by any means necessary, and will brook no exceptions in terms of what they will consider.

Considering what was previously stated, that Panasonic was looking to team up with Sony in getting an OLED television out on the market so they wouldn't be swamped by competitors Samsung and LG, it's a safe bet that nothing will be off the table in terms of getting Panasonic out of the red and back, metaphorically speaking, into the pink. Panasonic can't be seen lagging in most any technology, though admittedly, the numbers of early adopters looking to make an entrance in the OLED market will be comparatively small. Still, it's those same early adopters that start writing reviews and the like to help spur interest in—or drive it away from—new technologies.

While the global economy is still in the earliest stages of even partial recovery, it's quite clear that Panasonic will leave no stone unturned in its pursuit of its own recovery, and that's a development that should leave both investors and employees alike with a note of hope in the future of the company they work so hard to build.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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