Sony will be selling its Vaio laptop business to an investment fund, cutting 5000 jobs and splitting its TV business into a subsidiary. In addition, it will cease its e-reader business in the US.
Sony will be selling off its 18-year-old Vaio laptop business in a bid to recover from financial difficulties, the company has announced after revising its full-year forecast to a loss of US$1.1 billion. Instead, it will be refocusing its efforts on mobile devices and home entertainment, spinning off a wholly-owned subsidiary to handle high-end television sets.
Vaio will be sold to Japanese investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, the deal to be completed by March of this year. 250 to 300 Sony employees will be transferring across as part of the deal, however, an estimated 5000 jobs will be cut from Sony — 1500 in Japan and 3500 from around the globe. Sony cited "drastic changes in the global PC industry" as the reason for the sale.
Sony was careful to note that "Sony customers will continue to receive aftercare customer services".
The company will also be shutting the doors on all its digital reading services in the US and Canada, where Sony only has a small corner of the e-reader market compared to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. This cancellation includes both sales of the Sony Reader and the closure of the Sony ebook store. Existing US customers will be migrated across to the Kobo platform. This move, the company said, will not affect users in the rest of the world.
In order to get the company's finances back on track, it will be pouring efforts into its spun-off TV subsidiary, focusing on increasing the proportion of sales of high-end models, strengthening its 4K product lineup and launching models tailored to specific needs. Sony aims to have this up and running by July 2014.