Sony to slash suppliers as CEO's mettle tested

It had earlier announced 300 billion yen of cost cuts by March 2010 from the previous fiscal year and has been shuttering plants, reducing its production facilities around the world from 57 last year to 49.

Sony, which makes the Walkman portable player and the PlayStation 3 video game console, had built a reputation for innovation over the years that gave its brand added value.

But it's becoming increasingly difficult for Sony to cling to past glory in the face of burgeoning rivals with similar — if not better — products, often at cheaper prices.

Earlier this week, U.S. market researcher DisplaySearch found Sony fell to No. 3 in global sales in TVs, slipping behind LG Electronics Inc. of South Korea during the first quarter. Samsung Electronics Co., of Korea, remained No. 1 for the 13th straight quarter.

Sony, which fell behind in flat-panel TVs, has a joint venture with Samsung that makes liquid crystal displays for TVs that it sells under its own brand.

Sony stock inched down 0.2% to 2,500 yen in Tokyo.

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