Sharp ends early retirement plan as volunteers abound
Struggling Japanese manufacturer cuts program a week early as it quickly exceeds goal of atracting 2,000 early retirees
IDG News Service - Japan's Sharp, struggling with deep losses and searching for a financial savior, has cut short an early retirement program after being flooded with volunteers.
The company said Tuesday that it ended the program after a week, having received 2,960 applicants, about 10% of its domestic workforce. The original plan was for the program to run for two weeks and target about 2,000.
The Osaka-based manufacturer, one of the world's largest makers of LCD panels for TVs and mobile displays, instituted the program as part of its restructuring efforts, which have also included broad salary cuts and mortgaging of key properties. The company forecasts a $5.6 billion loss this fiscal year.
The job cuts are taking place as Sharp negotiates with major foreign IT companies such as Intel and Hon Hai Precision Industry, the parent company of contract manufacturer Foxconn Electronics. News reports have said it is nearing a deal for a US$500 million investment from Intel, while talks with Hon Hai have stalled after a previous agreement was scuttled earlier this year.
Sharp is slashing costs as it attempts to deal with a major cash crunch. The company has secured emergency loans from its banks, but financing costs have risen since its stock downgraded to junk status by ratings agencies.
While the company is ailing financially, it still possesses cutting edge manufacturing and display technology, as well as some of the largest LCD assembly lines in the world. It is attempting to shift production away from televisions to the booming market for smartphone and tablet displays.
The employees will officially leave the company Dec. 15. Sharp has also moved other employees between its Japan-based factories as it realigns production.
The early retirement plan, announced in August, applies to domestic workers and was to run from Nov. 1 to Nov. 14. The company ended the program Nov. 9.
Sharp said it had 30,800 employees in Japan as of the end of July, with another 32,600 outside Japan.
- The Brave New World of Customer-Centric Manufacturing The Unique Opportunity for Manufacturers to Better Understand their Consumers
- See the Possibilities Utilizing Data Visualization Do you simply want to collect data, or do you want to derive business insights from it? What if you could quickly and...
- The Future of IT: A Customer First Approach Explore how customer-first policies can make use of social, mobile and cloud technologies to give workers the freedom and flexibility they desire to...
- Aberdeen Group: Marketing Analytics for Manufacturing: Forging Customer Insights There are no recalls for poor marketing. Manufacturers need to get their customer intelligence and messaging right the first time. Learn how.
- Bringing software licenses into compliance A hospital group received a software license audit, so they called in CDW to help define and manage their software licensing status.
- Software license renewal solutions that insure compliance A large design group with a software license renewal challenge employs a software asset management (SAM) tool from CDW to insure compliance. All IT Industry White Papers | Webcasts