Sony Pictures Entertainment will be laying off 216 employees, according to a new state filing.
The cuts, which began Monday and will continue this week, include employees at divisions throughout the film and entertainment studio, a unit of Sony Corp. The layoffs were detailed in a notice Sony filed Monday with the California Employment Development Department.
The majority of the layoffs will come down between June 2 and July 18, according to the notice, and will come from four of Sony's Culver City offices — three on Washington Boulevard and one on Corporate Pointe.
The pink slips come as SPE is undergoing an extensive period of belt-tightening. The new economizing was prompted by a public battle with activist investor Dan Loeb last summer, during which the activist investor — and one of Sony's largest shareholders — tried to pressure the company to spin off its entertainment division. He used a series of film flops such as “White House Down” and “After Earth” to press his case.
Though Sony's board rejected some of Loeb's proposals, chief executive Kazuo Hirai and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton acknowledged a need to overhaul its greenlighting process.
Sony has been working with Bain & Co. consultants to streamline entertainment operations spanning a film studio, TV studio and music label — among other divisions. TheWrap reported last November that Sony wanted to cut $100 million, and the studio laid off a few dozen employees while shuttering its technologies group earlier this year. Sony's parent company has also been grappling with losses on its electronics side resulting in the planted elimination of 5,000 jobs globally.
On Monday, Sony eliminated its interactive media team, which included 70 employees.
Sony Pictures has also pushed out several top executives, including marketing boss Marc Weinstock and home entertainment head David Bishop, in the past year as it overhauls studio operations.
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