Chris's Feed
May 4, 2012

Micron likely winner in bid for Japan’s Elpida-NHK

SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S.-based Micron Technology is the likely winner in the bidding for Elpida Memory Inc, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported on Friday, in a deal that would help the failed Japanese chipmaker sustain operations and repay creditors.

Elpida filed for bankruptcy protection in February with 448 billion yen ($5.6 billion) in liabilities – a record for a Japanese manufacturer – after being hit by a strong yen and a slide in prices of DRAM chips for personal computers.

Apr 13, 2012

Sony CEO wields axe, sets turnaround targets

TOKYO (Reuters) – Less than a fortnight into his job as CEO, Kazuo Hirai sketched out a strategy to revive Sony Corp: a major push into smartphones, growth in games and cameras, and big cost cuts in a TV business that has not made a profit in 8 years.

The Sony veteran, in his first public briefing as CEO, also targeted new business in medical equipment and electric car batteries, and set a target for group sales of 8.5 trillion yen (65 billion pounds) in two years, with an operating margin of more than 5 percent.

Apr 12, 2012

“Sony will change” says CEO; to cut 10,000 jobs

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp said it is to cut around 10,000 jobs – 6 percent of its global workforce – as new CEO Kazuo Hirai moves to reduce costs and staunch huge losses at the Japanese electronics giant.

After a brief honeymoon since taking over from Howard Stringer this month, Hirai this week doubled Sony’s annual loss forecast to a record $6.4 billion, and is under pressure to fix an ailing TV unit and turn around a brand that has been trampled on by consumer gadget leaders Apple Inc and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics.

Apr 11, 2012

Sony loss forecast hammers Japan’s electronics shares

TOKYO (Reuters) – Shares of Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the inventor of personal music players, slid more than 7 percent on Wednesday after the company more than doubled its annual loss forecast, highlighting the plight of a Japanese TV industry that once dominated living rooms around the world.

Sharp Corp (6753.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Japan’s last big maker of TV liquid crystal displays, and local rival Panasonic Corp (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), also fell.

Apr 9, 2012

Sony to axe 10,000 jobs in turnaround bid: Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sony Corp is cutting 10,000 jobs, about 6 percent of its global workforce, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Monday, as new CEO Kazuo Hirai looks to steer the electronics and entertainment giant back to profit after four years in the red.

The job cuts would be the latest downsizing in Japan Inc where companies from cellphone maker NEC Corp to electronics firm Panasonic Corp are trimming costs in the face of a strong yen and competition from rivals like Apple and Samsung Electronics.

Apr 5, 2012

Seven & I sees record profit on convenience stores

TOKYO, April 5 (Reuters) – Japan’s top general retailer
Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd on Thursday forecast a second
straight year of record profit as the company targets a broader
demographic to drive domestic convenience-store sales and seeks
acquisitions in the United States.

Seven & I’s results will likely set the tone for similarly
strong earnings due next week from other retailers such as Aeon
Co Ltd, in contrast to heavy losses expected at
electronics makers such as Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp
.

Mar 29, 2012

Star-struck Japan PM befriends Facebook’s Zuckerberg

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda frequently entertains dignitaries from all over the world, but he was a touch star-struck on Thursday when he hosted a young billionaire with a whiff of celebrity: Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

As cabinet ministers filed through Noda’s residence for a late afternoon meeting, it was Zuckerberg who drew a fusillade of camera flashes from a hefty media contingent as he strode through the entrance like a movie star.

Mar 27, 2012

New Sony CEO to keep charge of troubled TV operations

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai signaled his determination to turn around the group’s ailing TV business by keeping direct charge of the division, as the Japanese brand fights to regain ground against rivals such as Apple.

Hirai, who formally takes over as chief executive from Howard Stringer next week, inherits a company that – like much of corporate Japan – has been outgunned in recent years by rivals like Apple and Samsung Electronics.

Mar 27, 2012

New Sony CEO to keep charge of troubled TV ops

TOKYO, March 27 (Reuters) – Sony Corp CEO Kazuo
Hirai signalled his determination to turn around the group’s
ailing TV business by keeping direct charge of the division, as
the Japanese brand fights to regain ground against rivals such
as Apple.

Hirai, who formally takes over as chief executive from
Howard Stringer next week, inherits a company that – like much
of corporate Japan – has been outgunned in recent years by
rivals like Apple and Samsung Electronics.

Mar 7, 2012

A year on, Japan nuclear film shows lives in limbo

TOKYO, March 7 (Reuters) – Decades ago, the citizens
of Japan’s Futaba town took such pride in hosting part of the
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex that they built a sign over a
promenade proclaiming that atomic power made their town
prosperous.

Now, they are scattered around Japan with no clear sign of
when they might return to their homes, and their story has
become a cautionary tale about the dangerous allure of nuclear
power.