Oops… Nikon denies any layoffs

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Update: Nikon to “re-assign” 1,550 employees in Japan, total headcount will be reduced by 1,000

In unprecedented move, Nikon issued a statement that they have not made any decisions on cutting 1,000 jobs in Japan - a story reported by Nikkei just few hours ago. Here is the full text:

Statement Regarding Today's Media Reports

There were media reports such as in The Nikkei this morning regarding Nikon's restructuring plan centering on headcount reduction during several years. Nikon has made no announcement in this regards.

Although Nikon is constantly studying various management options including headcount rationalization for strengthening company’s profitability mainly of Semiconductor Lithography and Imaging Products Businesses, nothing has been decided at this time.

Should any facts pertaining to this matter are decided, Nikon will immediately make an announcement.

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  • Wow, Nikon can be responsive and fast… an entire press note just few hours after the Nikkei article went live… wow again…

    • Someone at the plant panicked when they hit F5 and saw this. I’d bet money they have someone in the corporate office with 500 google alerts configured with “Nikon layoffs” “Nikon camera melts/fire” “Nikon DL made out of earwigs in North Korea”,
      “Rogue D750 steals US Election”, “Canon CEO+Nikon corporate lawn+doughnuts”

      • I have never seen Nikon react that fast, in fact I have never seen Nikon react… they are alive!

        • Thom Hogan

          You’re watching management games. The financial presentation spent some time going over their restructuring plan, which included talk of redacting 1350 jobs (1000 in Precision, 350 in Imaging). But it didn’t say “layoff.”

          My guess is that they think they can reassign some, get others to take early retirement, so “no layoffs,” which is a no no in Japan.

          Still, some manager talking to Nikkei and Reuters used different language. Oh oh.

          • Mistral75

            Nikon’s exact wording is “voluntary retirement program.”

      • Matt
    • animalsbybarry

      Try probably had advance notification that the article would be published.

      • I doubt that.

        • Horshack

          If the Japanese press is like America’s it’s actually pretty likely that the original newspaper reporting the layoffs contacted Nikon for comment prior to release. They would do this to seek confirmation or denial from the company.

          • But then they should have mentioned that in the article or not publish it at all since Nikon denied it.

            • Horshack

              It’s possible, although any response from Nikon would have required a good deal of internal communication and they may not have been able to get a response back fast enough (with the paper unwilling to wait and hold the story).

            • manattan

              More likely they released a general we don’t comment on rumors statement and the news media just rolled with the story.

            • Thom Hogan

              Still, the proper form is “Nikon was asked to comment but did not respond prior to our publishing deadline.”

          • Thom Hogan

            What happens is that we get whisper-interviews going on in Tokyo prior to financial releases. Someone in Nikon management talked to both Nikkei and Reuters (and I think a couple of others). The language they used got interpreted as “layoffs.” The financial presentation was careful to avoid the word “layoff,” but it’s clear that Nikon wants to reduce staffing in Precision/Imaging by 1350 people.

            The fact that 1000 was the number reported indicates that the contact was on the Precision side. Given that Nikon just announced they failed at the lithography business, one wonders if we have management within Precision trying to spin different stories.

        • Mike

          Could be planned sabotage to expose a mole. And the correction makes publications look bad.

    • Eleazar Liu

      Maybe this info caused confusion and chaos amount the board members. Normally such action should be discussed and agreed. To be fair, the camera business is not THAT bad. The recent decrease in sales are more related to strong Yen and bad encomic.

      • Yes, I have been saying this for a while – Nikon is not in a bad shape, just some people wanted to be.

      • ZoetMB

        You sound like my broker. It doesn’t matter why sales are down. If they’re down, they’re down. And the camera business IS that bad. But we’ll see how bad Nikon is when they release their second quarter results. Should be any day now.

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    Market seemed to have liked the idea of them down sizing Nikon was up 6%

    • manattan

      Maybe some in the c suite had near term calls that got blown up

  • nwcs

    They’ve made no decisions… Yet. Probably got leaked early and they’re saving face somehow. It’s an unfortunate situation. I’ve been on both sides of these things and it’s undoubtedly stressful for the workers there. I feel for them. Hope whatever needs to be done is done quickly so everyone can move on.

    • No, they would not make an official stetament if they have really already planned the layoffs.

      • nwcs

        Normally I’d agree but with the Japanese culture being quite different I wouldn’t be surprised by anything.

        • Could be, I just think they will look really stupid if they announce the same layoffs two months later.

          • manattan

            LOL. Kind of like releasing the DLs and then realizing they can’t ship them because the product is defective. C suite operations have been sloppy.

          • Davo

            This was posted in the dpreview comments sections:

            http://nikon.com/news/2016/20161108_1_e.pdf

            “Headcount reduction : Approximately 1000”

          • Eric Duminil

            They were very careful in the wording : They don’t say they’re not gonna cut jobs, just that they didn’t announce anything yet.

            • Eledeuh

              No, they said that they “haven’t decided anything yet”, that’s quite different from just “not having something to announce”.

              > Although Nikon is constantly studying various management options including headcount rationalization for strengthening company’s profitability mainly of Semiconductor Lithography and Imaging Products Businesses, *nothing has been decided at this time*.

            • Eric Duminil

              “We haven’t decided yet if we’re gonna lay 999 or 1001 people off.”

            • Thom Hogan

              Yet they announced that they were going to reduce headcount in Precision by 1000 and Imaging by 350. Announced. You can go read the words.

              Again, this is all about the use of the word “layoff,” which has very big consequences in Japan.

            • Eledeuh

              > Based on the above initiatives to rationalize headcount, Nikon will be announcing a voluntary retirement program of approximately 1,000 employees. Eligible applicants and detailed conditions will be announced once officially finalized.

              So yeah, are they just making sure the public communication stays on track ?

          • Alaska

            they may lay off only 5% or maybe 20%……

          • Thom Hogan

            Almost certainly they’ll announce an early retirement program. They’ll put a number of folk in offices with views. They’ll hope that some folk find a job elsewhere after being termed redundant.

    • Thom Hogan

      Actually, they have made decisions. 1000 jobs in Precision and 350 in Imaging have been marked for re-assignment or the euphemism for “removal.” That’s in the restructuring plan they announced today. What’s being argued about is the use of the word “layoffs.”

      • nwcs

        Yeah, some more info has come out since I posted. I feel for the workers, though, but it is the right move for Nikon. I figured this would be spun out as a VRIF of some sort.

  • Sure… and I think Elvis is still alive.

    • FountainHead

      We got the D300s replacement, so why the hell not?

  • This is the first time I agree with you.. A-mount is dead 🙂 lol

  • Eric Dye

    I could see news like that hitting stock prices hard, probably why Nikon had to react.

    • FountainHead

      Share price was up actually.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    Darn it, selling out of the Nikon F system and buying into the Fujifilm X system seems more and more palatable as the hours pass…

    • Fly Moon

      How?

      • He’s a Nikon factory foreman, it all makes sense!
        /s

  • Mike

    Good news! Now you don’t have to sell off your working cameras!

  • Mike

    Nope, Nikon buys a lot of Sony sensors. Looks better on the books to have Nikon buy them vs a division of Sony. Among other reasons.

  • foorider

    Hi, Nikon like most publicly traded companies do not normally comment on rumors. However, in this case Nikon was obligated to make a clarifying statement due to Timely Disclosure rules of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). Otherwise, TSE may issue an alert per Japan Exchange Group procedures, which can be seen in negative light.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    At 10K headcount, Nikon Japan operations sound anorexic lean already, wacking 10% off that might let Nikon apply for SME benefits! Oh, I see, that’s their new business strategy!

  • Dominic Siu

    If they need to slash jobs, they will do so even there is no public announcement.

    • Alaska

      the rumor is true…. there is a restructuring document on the nikon press release website that says exactly what was reported.

      • Thom Hogan

        Not exactly. But as I reported, 1350 jobs will be reassigned in some way.

        • Reassign doesn’t mean layoff. Maybe they will be reassigned to the new mirrorless camera project 🙂

          • Mistral75

            Based on the above initiatives to rationalize headcount, Nikon will be announcing a voluntary retirement program of approximately 1,000 employees. Eligible applicants and detailed conditions will be announced once officially finalized.

            http://www.nikon.com/news/2016/20161108_1_e

            • I know, my comment was a joke, hence the smiley at the end 🙂

          • New Nikon V4 will be made in Siberia, by “reassigned” employees being sent to “produce powerful camera for motherland” in happy “enjoyment camps”, where these employees will be drafted into work project called “The Red Army”, according to new Nikon teletype “The Red Army is a broom to sweep the homeland clean of scum!”

            So I guess that would be Sony.

  • Christopher Warzenski

    Samsung needs to buy them. Gets Samsung a gold standard name in the serious photography market. Something that Samsung has wanted to break into but couldn’t.

    • animalsbybarry

      One of the things Sony should consider….
      If Nikon is not bought by Sony they might get bought by one of Sony’s competitors.

      • Thom Hogan

        Folks, let’s stop talking about Nikon going away as a separate entity. Despite a dismal 1H financial report, the company is still profitable, still has good metrics, plenty of cash, and a reasonable debt/equity ratio that would allow them to borrow more.

        What’s happening is what I predicted: Nikon is getting smaller. Simple as that.

        • Yes, exactly what I said – Nikon was here before us and will be here long after we are gone. Let’s stop also with this all Sony and Samsung acquisition nonsense because it is getting old.

        • animalsbybarry

          Assuming that Nikon continues to ” get smaller ” than it may be in thier best interest to sell now before they get any smaller
          But let’s assume Nikon will continue to operate successfully and indefinitely
          I still think some sort of collaboration would be in both companies best interest and in the best interest of the consumer
          In particular I believe both product lines are CLOSE TO being a perfect fit ( with a little tweaking ) that would compete much more effectively with Canon
          The idea I have in mind is to collaborate fully on mount system
          First… both companies would colaberate to build a close to perfect F mount to E mount adapter
          When Nikon makes a mirrorless camera it should be E mount
          Next…. rather than build lots of new A mount Sony lenses
          Sony should build a second version of the A99ii in F mount
          Nikon could reciprocate by building Native E mount lenses, and possibly A mount versions of a few select lenses and/or offering F mount to A mount conversion on select lenses ( like Sigma does on some of thier lenses )

          • Thom Hogan

            Again, wishful thinking. Not going to happen.

            Both companies are downsizing their camera operations and going upscale.

    • John Albino

      Samsung’s got too many PR problems right now, with the total recall of exploding Galaxy Note 7s and now the big recall of exploding Samsung washing machines. Certainly not a time to take on any new challenges, and probably more than a few years to get their reputation restored. Their QA/QC certainly is in the toilet.

  • Eric Calabros

    “Nikon is constantly studying..”
    seems study has a high value in Nikon corporate culture. They’re always doing that about anything.

  • animalsbybarry

    If Nikon does not get bought by Sony then here is a good 48 mp 8k video global shutter sensor available for them to put into a new mirrorless FF camera
    This is a CMOSis sensor

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161107005548/en/Industry%E2%80%99s-Global-Shutter-48Mpixel-CMOS-Image-Sensor

  • HF

    Weird. Tactics from Nikon or intentional from The Nikkei?

    • FountainHead

      Just more shoddy journalism.
      Journalistic standards plummeting the world over.

      • Alaska

        no it´s more stupidness from nikon.
        in an announcement today they say exactly what the rumor said.
        restructuring … 1000 people will be laid off (retired)

        • Thom Hogan

          Again, no. Nikon was careful not to use the word “layoff.” Certainly 1350 people are going to soon find that they’re not working at what they were working on.

  • Berschi

    First do your homework and read what Nikon published.
    This is just a PR disaster by Nikon and no where just based on “media reports”. Go download Nikons presentation material: http://nikon.com/about/ir/ir_library/result/pdf/2017/17second_all_e.pdf
    Read slide #23 bullet #3. Nikon investor relation published:
    “Headcount reduction: approximately 1,000 during ZY 2017/3”
    Now their spin doctors try to make it look good.
    What a sad performance on their side.

  • Per K

    Now this and earlier the take over rumor….
    Seems that there are things going on in the background. Could be someone want to destabilize Nikon as corporation. Or leaks from discussions in the Nikon top management.
    Of course staff reduction is normal for a company losing money and makes share go up. (Take over rumors also tend to increase share value.)

    • Alaska

      you can be sure there are cuts.
      nikon is just not ready to talk about it yet.
      something like this gets not reported bei nikkei without a reason.

      • Peter Parker

        They also send that “Executives will forgo their bonuses and take a cut in monthly pay starting November.” When have you ever seen an American company do that.

  • Berschi

    And here they have even an extra Nikon official note explaining their 1,000 job cuts: http://nikon.com/news/2016/20161108_1_e.pdf

    Boy it seems someone at HQ (who are among those to be cut) is going nuts there.

  • Alaska

    they say they have not decided yet.. could be 20% of the workforce 😉

  • Alaska
  • hje

    “Based on the above initiatives to rationalize headcount, Nikon will be announcing a voluntary retirement program of approximately 1,000 employees. Eligible applicants and detailed conditions will be announced once officially finalized.”

    http://www.nikon.com/news/2016/20161108_1_e.pdf

  • Mistral75

    Based on the above initiatives to rationalize headcount, Nikon will be announcing a voluntary retirement program of approximately 1,000 employees. Eligible applicants and detailed conditions will be announced once officially finalized.

    http://www.nikon.com/news/2016/20161108_1_e.pdf

    They will also spin off and merge together all their optical components manufacturing entities:

    http://www.nikon.com/news/2016/20161108_2_e.pdf

    • HF

      I just wanted to link to this, too.

    • Alaska

      why can you post links…. and i can not… 🙁

      • Mistral75

        Because the world is unfair 🙂

      • He is whitelisted – have been posting here for years. I will whitelist you too if you promise not do something crazy 🙂

  • Wally Brooks

    All they did is say they made no announcement which is calculated to calm the markets and their employees Nikon management has done a Clinton-Trump. Layoffs are coming and the management is disingenuous.

  • TwoStrayCats

    And on an aside, General Yongnuo has expressed a denial of any plans by the Chinese Optical Army to invade Japan and take Nikon and Canon by force.

    • CBJ

      Yongnuo doesn’t want that, they want other companies to create more products for them to copy.

  • Thom Hogan

    See my comments on the article I posted on dslrbodies.com. There’s much more going on here than first meets the eye.

  • Li

    Right after that they’ve made official press release denying the statement, they immediately made new press release saying after Board meeting they will proceed to restructure and lay off 1000 employees. Read their press release. http://www.nikon.com/news/index.htm

  • sperdynamite

    If Kodak can survive what happened to film, Nikon can survive whatever is happening to digital.

    • TO-DOUG

      But of course… Kodak did not really survive what happened to film. It is a shadow of its former self. You knew that, right?
      If you were being sarcastic, you should provide some sort of alert.

      • sperdynamite

        What an obnoxious comment. Companies grow, companies shrink, some companies disappear completely. But I still shoot hundreds of rolls of Kodak film every year, many of which commercially. Some of the biggest blockbusters in the theaters are being shot on Super 16, 35mm, and 65/70mm Kodak film. One of the most watched shows on tv (The Walking Dead) is shot on Super 16 Kodak 5219 film. What will surely be one of next year’s biggest blockbusters is being shot entirely on Kodak 65mm film (Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk). My clients pay me to shoot their weddings on Kodak Super 8 film. People hire our studio and love our photographic work on Kodak Portra 160 and 400, and they’re all high-end NYC area clients. Kodak might be a smaller company, of course they are! They went from providing a mass-market consumer product to producing industrial, commercial, and artistic products. But they’re STILL AROUND. People in Rochester are still making thousands of feet of film every year. Trolls like you haven’t stopped them yet. THAT was my point.

        • TO-DOUG

          That might have been your point, but that wasn’t what you wrote in your initial post. My comment wasn’t intended to be “obnoxious” and it is a shame that your took it that way. I said that “Kodak is a shadow of its former self” and I believe that is an accurate statement. I am aware that many people still shoot film for stills and cinema, but surely you would agree that the film footage shot for either purpose has declined drastically over the past two decades. I hope that Nikon does not make the strategic errors that Kodak management made. I would hate to see Nikon shrink to the point that it no longer offered a broad range of excellent cameras and lenses.

          Personally, I enjoyed shooting film in the decades when it was the only option for my Leica and Nikon equipment in the 1960’s and beyond. I still have those film cameras, but they don’t get much use. I far prefer using my Nikon digital cameras now, and that preference is shared by many photographers on this forum and elsewhere. That doesn’t make me a “troll” as you suggest.

        • John Albino

          If it hadn’t been for insular *management* mistakes by Kodak, the company very well might have owned the entire digital photography market, or at least been the most important player.

          It’s well-documented that Kodak management was afraid of cannibalizing the exorbitantly-profitable film business and refused to give serious attention to digital imaging, which their engineers basically invented!

          In the 1980s Kodak had the best copying machines — so good that Xerox even licensed technology *from* Kodak because it was superior to what Xerox could produce.

          Kodak had a growing electronic-publishing division with innovative engineers and the ability to interface with its copy machines, also in the 1980s.

          Yet upper management decided all that wasn’t Kodak’s “core” business and divested and/or discontinued all of them.

          Now Kodak possibly earns more money from licensing the Kodak “brand” and Kodak technology than it does by actually manufacturing products.

  • doge

    To borrow a line from Samuel Clemens; the report of 1,000 layoffs was an exaggeration.

    • Mistral75

      Indeed, it’s only about 1,000 “voluntary retirements“…

  • sickheadache

    This is exciting news, but my Aunt May…she got this Pussy…….cat name Snotz. It is a tired old Pussy……….cat, missing a few Toof’s and has only one good eye. One thing is for sure….we have learned never agitate Aunt May’s very old tired Pussy………….Cat.

  • Ric of The LBC

    Good. Get your butts back in your seats and make me a Df2!

  • Max

    your m43 princess sensor is on its way.

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