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Olympus to cut 2,500 jobs?


Like so many other Japanese companies also Olympus may have to cut jobs in order to save on costs. Reuters reports that “The job losses, equal to about 7 percent of its total workforce, will come mainly from Olympus’s loss-making camera business and by consolidating its overseas plants, the Nikkei business daily said. They would be revealed on June 8, it added. Sony and Panasonic are the leading contenders to pump fresh equity in Olympus, the Asahi newspaper said, adding that the successful

There were so many rumors about possible partnerships that we really have to be careful with those kind of news. I for sure hope it will not become true. I Cross the fingers for all Olympus employees!


P.S.: Not all companies are facing hard times. Fuji is doing well and I posted about that on MirrorlessRumors.

  • Don Pope

    Crap! Right when I start buying Olympus gear. I hope they don’t close their camera division.

    • asdf

      At least we’ve got Panasonic lenses

    • Will

      They won’t, at the very least it will be bought by another camera company, many which have already attempted that, so it will carry on don’t worry, the name is worth a lot of money.

    • mert

      @Don Pope

      Olympus’ camera division would not be closed down, if anything they might sell it or spin it off as a seperate business…

      Olympus’ camera division has the potential to be a very profitable business with a more focused product line.

    • Ross

      They are more likely to cut back on the consumer compact cameras & not the higher end products, so I don’t think you need to worry about the sort of gear you want. They are not going to cut back on successful suff, only the less important lines. Fewer compact camera lines would be sensible (& that doesn’t mean CSC’s).

  • mert

    A Fujifilm stake would make a lot of sense and offer alot of value to Fuji as they would also be buying into a sensor relationship for Olympus’ camera division and entry into the MFT ecosystem. Both Fuji and Olympus play in the medical field but not in direct competition with each other. IMHO this would be the perfect relationship.

  • Pei

    The E-M5 development group will be rehired when Olympus needs an E-M6. For now, just drop the 16mp sensor into the next seven PEN cameras.

    • Mr X

      I’m afraid you could be right about the next 7 Pens looking at what Oly has done in the past.

  • Agent00soul

    I wonder if the job cuts will include the plants in China, since all cameras are manufactured there.

  • ttt

    Was looking forward to getting an OM-D, but I will not support companies that used retrenchment as an excuse to cut costs. Employees must now suffer for Olympus’ past financial juggling of profits and so called losses.

    • Nic

      An *excuse* to cut costs? It’s not an excuse. And yes, it is insufferable, all round.

      You could choose to support the employees that are left.

    • Lucky

      Instead you would rather the inflated workforce bring down the entire group and have much larger groups lose their jobs? Olympus must down-size and rationalise its camera division. There is too much duplication…

      The E series can be cut and replaced by the next generation of OMD

      The Pen series could be cut back to one or two cameras and a solid range of accessories

      There should then be one Tough Camera and one P&S

      Consolidating their product ranges will allow them to focus on building great cameras, not lots of cameras.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Hopefully you have spine to stand behind your words and are buying zero thing from any western company and live self-sufficiently because western big shots kick out workers just for the fun of it so that they and others who don’t do work can collect bigger profits!

    • Ross

      Would you rather go with another company that is doing it tough instead?

  • Quali

    Firing several hundred employes will not make their products better or result in higher creativity, always same, mamagement is dumb – small people have to pay the bill.

  • napalm

    You left out from the report that Pany and Sony plans or already as cut around 10,000 employees each this year. It is happening all over Japan like the rest of the world

  • Adriaantie

    Sad news.

  • Anonymous

    for Oly ceo

    From now on:
    – leave only XZ and tough series
    – release E-50 and announce “end of 4/3 support” since June 2015

    – any m43 primes must be weather sealed
    – any m43 premium zooms must be weather sealed and power zoom
    – any m43 primes must be f/1.8 or faster
    – any m43 primes must be $800 max
    – asap start building your premium zoom portfolio. start with 12-60/2.8-4; 58mm filter, must be big (in world of m43).
    – next rebuild 4/3 “average Joe” zooms: 11-22, 14-54, etc.

    As for lenses ;)

    At Photokina either you or Mr. Uematsu San announce 10mm f/4 SHG (read 20/1.7 size/quality and price) pancake and mZD 12-60/2.8-4 $900; ETA May 2013.
    At February 2013 press event announce 60-180/2.8-4 and 17/1.8 upgrade; $1000/$300; ETA 12 months max.
    In the meantime release 120-150/2.8 macro; 1:1

    – make video PEN; GH2 sensor, EM5 IBIS, Oly colours, make it AVCHD 2.0 if you can, max bitrate allowed by standard.
    – #1 priority here is being aware of Europe continent; we don’t have 60Hz = give us 25/50p!!!
    – get rid of PL series, leave EM-x – flagship; E-PV(ideo) and E-PM
    – #1 priority here is AF-C on M43 lenses and AF-S on 4/3 lenses
    – next cameras art filters: silver effect, super sharp (scale down to 33%, low radius sharpness, high amount of sharpness; available only to 4 MPx)
    – consider two jpg engines: one from EM5: smooth picture and one from E-PL1: grainy and detailed if needed hide it deep in menus so average Joe can’t find it.

    Oly/Panny suggestions for upcoming Canon/Nex/Nikon announcments

    Announce working on Oly/Panny CA correction.
    DO NOT forget about us (E-P3+/GH2 users; promise us firmwares).
    Announce development of UWA zoom 6-12/2.8-4; $1100; “7-14 or better quality”; must be big (in world of m43); hood included :angry:

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > – leave only XZ and tough series
      And instead of x+dozen new useless scene modes and such add back wired tethering like it was half decade ago.
      That would get lots of interest from time lapse photography hobbyers.

      > – release E-50
      With 4/3 practically dead in the water for last two years I’m afraid it’s rather late for Oly to invest money into body which would be stuck with only 4/3 lenses.
      Everything doesn’t need fastest AF or focus tracking so I would be lot more interested about E-50 level controls and ergonomy mirrorless body.

      > – make video PEN; GH2 sensor, EM5 IBIS, Oly colours, make it AVCHD 2.0
      Scrap AVCHD only video.
      It’s sucktastic format for handling in computers and bitrate is limited to handicap image quality of consumer products.
      If GH2’s firmware hacks can give 30p more details up to ~40Mb/s (limit on Blu-ray for same fps btw) then 50/60p sure benefits from that kind bitrate.

  • Rob

    It would make sense for Panasonic to go for them too considering the m4/3 format.

    Sony on the other hand will surely kill off or sell off the camera division. They’ll take the medical optics for fun and profit and some of the camera technology (read: patents) over to their own cameras.

    Fuji would merge quite well considering both companies fields and backgrounds, they may leave Olympus alone somewhat apart from certain things that can be merged/shared like sensor and optical technology to save on costs.

    • MichaelKJ

      This has nothing to do with Oly’s camera division. Sony and Panasonic are looking for a growth product, which they see in Oly’s medical products–endoscopes.

      Oly’s partner will own only 10% of the company. This will get them one or two seats on the board of directors and 10% of Oly’s earnings. Oly will retain 90% of the power and thus will still be calling the shots.

  • Keith

    With the Japanese Yen sooo strong, I’m really surprised that non-Japanese camera makers are not increasing Market share.

    Gemany used to be a camera super power…. anyone want to start up a camera company with me? I need about $100m investment for a 49% share in the company :-)

    • awaler

      I think the reason for this is that you cannot build a sustainable business strategy on something as volatile as currency exchange rates.

  • stefano romei

    panasonic an sony are loosing money too.i think that only samsung has money and they are weak on camera market especially at high levels.
    samsung could bring money,sales organization and new strategies.
    oly should continue to do and develop good cameras.
    the wedding is possible.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Big question mark in Samsung partnership is that they’ve been actively trying to push their own mirrorless APS-C system which is directly competed by much more successfull m4/3.
      Remember that it doesn’t benefit us any if Olympus goes to someone who might want to weaken m4/3.

  • cteve

    Good that I sold my gear a few months ago. Now looking into a strong company that will stay on the market, will probably go for the Samsung mirrorless system, the NX20 is more than tempting! :)

  • awaler

    Realignment is quite easy in this case.
    Just scrap all P&S lines. And if this is not enough, stop XZ-* line.
    And if still more must be done, chime the death bell for 4/3.

    I am fully convinced a camera business restricted to m4/3 can be long term profitable.

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