Sony Electronics have announced the immediate sale of their PC business, and with it the VAIO brand. The deal is set to be completed within the coming month and will see the VAIO business transfer to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).
Sony will no longer design or develop PC products – instead focusing on their smartphones and tablet mobile division – which is generating year-on-year sales increases, whereas their PC market has been in steady decline. The higher than expected sales on the recently released Playstation 4 games console also seem to have come at the right time for the company, as their current end-of-year financial forecasts foresee a loss of around 110 billion yen, quite some step down from the previously projected 30 billion yen profit. This loss would mark Sony’s fifth net loss within six years – with only last years sale of properties in New York and Tokyo keeping the firm from a 6-for-6 streak.
The announced sale is due to Sony “aggressively implementing a reform strategy across its electronics business, as originally announced in April 2012,” – one which CEO Kaz Hirai called an “agonizing decision” yesterday.
In an odd one-out-one-in manoeuvre, Kaz also revealed the planned formation of a new TV business, expected to focus on Sony’s high-end (4K) models.
“If you are asking if we have any plan to sell off our TV business, I can say we have absolutely no plan to do so right now,” he said.
“I think we are heading in the right direction, and by making it a separate company we will speed decision-making up. As for the future, there are many possibilities, and not just for our TV business.”
The newly formed brand, which will operate as a wholly-owned and entirely separate entity, is an attempt to return the core business to profitability; 5,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the shakeup, saving billions each year in fixed costs.