Olympus to Slash Workforce and Sell Equity StakeBy: Shawn Hess - May 30, 2012
After the discovery of a huge financial scandal back in October, Olympus Corporation is planning on laying off almost 7% of their total workforce in the months to come. Aside from slashing over 2500 jobs, the troubled corporation is also looking into selling a near ten percent share of their company to either Sony or Panasonic.
A majority of the jobs being lost will be the result of consolidating overseas manufacturing efforts and reducing the size of their already troubled camera business. Depending on who wins out in the bidding over shares of Olympus, Either Sony or Panasonic will be dumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the Company.
This comes at a bad time for Sony and Panasonic as both are currently recovering from considerable quarterly losses and poor sales performance. The decision as to who will control the ten percent stake at Olympus should be decided by the end of June.
Olympus has been in a state of limbo since a scandal involving several ex-Olympus executives and bankers was exposed by, then fired, chief executive Michael Woodford. Apparently, ex-president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former executive vice president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada conducted fraudulent dealing in order to cover up enormous losses incurred from high-risk investments during the late 1980’s financial bubble.
In December, Olympus filed five years worth of corrected financial reports that revealed over $1 billion in losses from its balance sheets and an additional $410 million loss projected throughout the remained of 2012 for shortcomings in their existing camera business.