Layoffs hit Sony Mobile workers in Lund

Sony Mobile in Lund announced it was laying off 149 employees on Tuesday, after initial warnings that staff numbers would have to be cut down following Sony's purchase of its joint venture with Swedish telecom giant Ericsson in February.

Layoffs hit Sony Mobile workers in Lund

The announcement did not come as a surprise to staff members, who had been told that 500 people were expected to be made redundant within the group.

“A little of this could be seen already in the quarterly report which announced that there would be various different forms of restructuring and efficiency improvements when we became fully owned by Sony,” said Erik Yström of Sony Mobile to Dagens Industri newspaper (DI).

The cuts are part of a global savings package which was announced in January.

There are over 2,500 staff members at the Lund development centre, and Sony executives are planning to continue making layoffs until they have reached their quota, which should occur before summer.

Sony’s decision to buy Ericsson’s half of the now-defunct Sony Ericsson mobile handset joint venture took effect in October, 2011 and €1.05 billion ($1.47 billion) was paid for the Swedish half of the Japanese/Swedish partnership in February, 2012.

The new company, Sony Mobile Communications, has over 7,000 members of staff worldwide and development facilities in Lund, Tokyo, Beijing, and the Silicon Valley.

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Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.