Sony Mobile moves out of Swedish lovenest after break-up
Heads back home after Ericsson split, leaves 1,000 redundancies in its wake
Sony Mobile is moving its headquarters from Sweden to Tokyo, where parent group Sony Corporation is headquartered, and laying off 1,000 people as it reshapes the company it took total control of back in February.
Most of the layoffs will be in Lund, Sweden, where 650 staff will lose their jobs thanks to the closure of the old headquarters – which was set up there when the company was a combined operation with Ericsson. The rest of the cuts will mostly be consultants, who'll lose their contracts as operations are consolidated back to Tokyo and Beijing. The cuts will see the total workforce at Sony Mobile down by about 15 per cent, dipping well below 6,000, but the company is adamant that the changes are structural rather than symptomatic of any aspirational scaling back:
"The Xperia smartphone portfolio continues to gain momentum," says the canned statement from the CEO. "We are accelerating the integration and convergence with the wider Sony group ... to reduce Sony Mobile’s costs, enhance time to market efficiency and bring the business back to a place of strength".
Taking the operation home isn't terribly surprising, Lund was always Ericsson's preference and the advantages of being within the European mainland aren't what they once were, while being in Asia and close to Sony's other product divisions has obvious advantages. ®
And what about Hammersmith?
Sony Ericsson was officially a British company - I understand for tax reasons - and the HQ was in Hammersmith. I'd expect that to go too.
AFAIK, they're sticking to network infrastructure, but it's sad to see the SE dumbphones gone, as I still use one as my main phone.
Does this mean Ericsson can get back to making excellent mobile telephones?