Pioneer pulls plug on 10,000 jobs

Electronics firm Pioneer is axing 10,000 employees as it pulls out of the flat-screen TV market by March next year and predicts a record annual loss.

The Japanese firm, which employs some 37,000 worldwide, is also searching for a joint venture partner willing to take on its optical disc businesses.

Pioneer said it will focus on car and home electronics, such as DJ equipment and cable TV set-top boxes, after admitting its business had been “significantly affected by dramatic changes in economic conditions”.

Late last year it announced this month’s closure of its plasma screen manufacturing facility in Slough, and a spokesman said further job losses in Europe – where Pioneer employs 1,000 – could not be ruled out.

The company is reducing its 30 production facilities by 30% and expects to have a smaller sales and marketing operation.

Pioneer added it will be reducing directors’s salaries by between 20% and 50% until 2011 and that no bonuses will be paid. Even so, Pioneer said it expects to a report a record annual loss of ¥130bn (£1bn).

Pioneer is the latest Asian electronics giant to feel the chill of the recession. This month Panasonic announced plans to reduce its workforce by 15,000 after its first loss for six years.

Other Japanese firms including NEC, Hitachi and Sony have slashed their global workforces.

Thursday 12 February 2009 10.28 GMT
Richard Wray

Source: The Guardian

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