Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures has been slashing costs recently, but apparently it hasn't been enough. The studio is planning to lay off 300 people, primarily because of weak DVD sales, the LA Times reported this morning. The Times, citing sources familiar with the situation, said the layoffs could begin as early as next week and will include filled as well as open positions. The moves come despite the company's recent attempts to cut costs at the company, mostly travel and entertainment expenses.
Sony's cuts follow recent layoffs at Warner Brothers, which cut about 10 percent of its workforce in January, so it's not the only studio facing challenges. Still, Sony Pictures appears to have its own unique set of problems, as its parent company Sony Corp. is under growing pressure across most of its business lines, including games where operating income was down almost 100 percent last quarter , and consumer electronics, which many analysts expect will lose over $300 million during the company's fiscal year 2009. Most analysts expect Sony Pictures to post a modest profit this year.
Sony last week announced some senior management changes , including consolidating more control under Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer.
By Rory Maher