Panasonic to slash 50% of the 7,000 employees at its Osaka headquarters

Panasonic is considering cutting 3,000 to 4,000 of the 7,000 employees at its headquarters, possibly within the current financial year, through internal transfers and early retirement, to reduce costs and streamline the organization. Panasonic’s first drastic workforce downsizing at its Osaka headquarters will be discussed by the labor union and the company’s management as early as July, the sources said. Panasonic’s reform plan is apparently aimed at realizing a recovery of its business performance at an early date by speeding up decision-making, in addition to cost cuts after logging a massive group net loss in the business year that ended in March.

The move is also seen as redirecting company resources into new growth areas, including energy-efficient products and solar panels, transferring some employees at the headquarters to the solar battery and other business sectors that are expected to lead the company’s recovery in the future.

Of the 7,000 employees at the headquarters, 4,000 belong to the administrative sector, 2,000 to research and development and 1,000 to production and engineering. As for the R&D sector, the company is considering spinning it off as a separate unit, the sources said. Panasonic reported it’s largest-ever group net loss of ¥772.17 billion (9.71 billion U.S. dollars) for the business year that ended in March. Panasonic slashed its workforce by about 36,000 over the year to some 330,000 as of the end of March.

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