Konosuke Matsushita must be doing another revolve in his grave for his beloved company Panasonic (Matsushita as was). Investors are none too impressed with President Tsuga’s new mid term plan and the share price has slumped further. There will be no dividends for the first time in 63 years and Panasonic is expected to report an over Y700bn net loss for the second straight year at the end of this month.
President Tsuga is trying to be bold by and told executives that Panasonic should call it quits on plasma TV production, but, as always, everyone fears the loss of face this will cause Tsuga’s sempai (predecessors), Kunio Nakamura (now an adviser) and Fumio Otsubo. Chairman Otsubo will be leaving the board, along with one other director in June, pending board approval. The Nikkei thinks this will not be enough of a clear out to allow Tsuga to make a really clean break with the past.
And in the meantime morale of employees is not improving, what with 80,000 jobs (nearly a quarter of the workforce) being shed the past three years, and the remaining workforce being asked to take a paycut.
On top of this all, the Wall Street Journal reports that a US subsidiary of Panasonic – Panasonic AvionicsCorp – is being investigated by US authorities for alleged bribery.
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