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Sony Pictures to Cut 450 Positions

By : Chris Tribbey | Posted: 01 Feb 2010

In a memo to staffers, Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal notified employees Feb. 1 that there will be studio-wide layoffs beginning the first week of March, with the majority of cuts coming from the home entertainment and IT departments.

A studio source said every studio division is likely to be affected, and the number of cuts will total near 450, with 100 of those positions being jobs that are currently unfilled.

“The decision to take this step was difficult. But it’s being done in the context of a strategy designed to help us safeguard our competitiveness and chart our own course through these troubled waters,” the memo reads. “The need is clear: from the growth of online piracy, to the social media effect on the performance of films, to the way people have changed how they watch television and acquire DVDs. The business is going through a rough period of trial and transition, and we have an obligation to take the steps necessary to get through it.”

The studio began a series of layoffs across its divisions in March 2009, pointing to significant drops in its DVD, TV syndication and advertising sales business.

A shake-up of the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment executive team took place late last month, with Marshall Forster, SEVP, North America, and EVP Bob Rubin leaving the company.

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