Sony Interactive Group Shuts Down as Layoffs Begin
UPDATED: Sony Pictures Entertainment is laying off 216 people in California this week in its effort to save $100 million annually.
The latest round of layoffs at Sony Pictures Entertainment claimed at least 216 jobs in California, according to data supplied to state labor officials.
Pink slips were arriving Monday at SPE and are expected throughout the week.
The downsizing included the closure Monday of Sony Pictures Interactive.
Although official data collected by state government officials indicates 216 people have or will be laid off this week, SPE declined a request from The Hollywood Reporter to elaborate on the numbers.
Until Monday, there were about 6,500 SPE employees worldwide.
Statistics from California officials do not include SPE jobs that will disappear in other states and countries this week as SPE tries to make good on its goal of cutting $100 million in costs.
The cost-cutting measures were announced last year and a round of layoffs in January brought the total to 50 since the process was initiated by SPE heads Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal. Those cuts in January included the shuttering of Sony Pictures Technologies and jobs at the VFX house Imageworks.
Sony is working with Bain & Co. to identify ways it can rein in costs, an imperative that came on the heels of big-budget movie flops White House Down and After Earth, and in the midst of a public spat with activist shareholder Daniel Loeb, who argued Sony should spin off its entertainment assets and be more cautious about spending money.