Sony Ericsson to close locations, lay off 2,000
The facilities being closed are the Research Triangle Park location in North Carolina that will shut in the third quarter of 2010. 420 workers will be laid off with that move. As a result of the RTP closing, the joint venture will move its North American headquarters to Atlanta and the North American R&D department will move to Redwood Shores, California. That location is right near the Sony Ericsson facility in San Francisco that works on smartphones. Karen Morris, VP for marketing in North America, said that one reason Atlanta was chosen for the new HQ was because of its proximity to AT&T, one of the largest customers for Sony Ericsson phones. Those workers who qualify will receive severance pay and some will be given the opportunity to work in Atlanta or in California.
After a layoff of 2,000 employees last year, Sony Ericsson's head count was 9,900. Smaller offices in Miami, Seattle and San Diego also will close. Because the Miami office spearheaded the joint venture's Latin American business, that area will now be folded into North American operations. Also being shuttered is a facility in Chennai, India. Work there will shift to the Lund, Sweden location.
It is interesting that the company has decided to cut costs now, before launching its first Android powered model, the Xperia X10. With a huge screen, speedy processor and user friendly UI, the device is expected to be a strong challenger in the smartphone market upon its release this coming February. According to IDC, Sony Ericsson is the fourth largets handset maker with a 4.9% market share.
source: TriangleBusinessJournal via EngadgetMobile