Well, It Is D-Day at Sony

september 22, 2005

Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony has announced his brilliant plan. Is it something with vision? Something grand? Something out-of-the-box and unconventional? Something that will turn the company around? No, on all accounts. His "brilliant" plan? Continue laying people off (10,000 more) for short term gains, close factories (11 factories out of 65), terminate unprofitable operations (15 of them) and trim spending on research and development of iconic products (Aibo). Hell, he might as well just lay everyone off and take the tax write-off. This is nothing different than what his predecessor (Idei) did for the last three years. It hasn't worked for the last three years -- and it will probably not work this time. There is no long term strategy here, it is all short-sighted knee-jerking. And it took Stringer this long to "plan" this out? I am saddened by the lack of leadership from Stringer. Maybe I expected too much. Maybe we all should have expected more? I am a former Sony employee and each time I hear news like this, it hurts me. I went through three years of going through the twice yearly layoff periods (May and right before Christmas). I know how that feels and how demoralizing it is for the whole team. This new "strategy" by Stringer brings no hope to the employees at Sony. It only brings the same demoralizing feeling that they could be laid off any day now -- put yourself in their shoes and try to feel how motivated you would be to come to work each day with that black cloud hanging over your head. Stringer has screwed up and he has screwed up badly. This was his chance to come in and made some positive changes, yet all he did was come in and continue the head-cutting tactics of the past. Sad.