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Sony job cuts to hit Rancho Bernardo unit

Sony Electronics said it will eliminate one-third of its staff this year as part of the job cuts its parent company Sony Corp. announced this month.

Sony will slash 400 jobs this year at the San Diego-based unit, which makes high-definition televisions. The move is part of a restructuring of the Japanese conglomerate that will see 5,000 layoffs worldwide.

Sony will also close 20 U.S. stores, it said Wednesday in a statement. But the Sony store in San Diego's Fashion Valley and the Sony retail outlet at the Westfield mall in University City will remain open.

Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), based in Tokyo, forecast a $1.1 billion loss this year as demand slows for TVs and personal computers, while competitors such as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. dominate the still-growing market for smartphones. The company plans to sell its PC business to buyout firm Japan Industrial Partners Inc. and is splitting the TV manufacturing unit into a separate operating entity.

“While these moves were extremely tough, they were absolutely necessary to position us in the best possible place for future growth,” said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics, in the statement. “I am entirely confident in our ability to turn the business around.”

San Diego is headquarters for Sony's electronics business in North America and employs roughly 2,000 workers before the layoffs.

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