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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 18:49 GMT 19:49 UK
New Sony chief defends job cuts
Sir Howard Stringer receiving his fellowship at Glamorgan University, 22 July 2005
Sir Howard said he 'could not duck' a decision on job cuts
The new head of electronics giant Sony says he could not avoid hundreds of job cuts in his native south Wales.

Sir Howard Stringer, in Pontypridd to receive an honorary fellowship, said the firm was looking to develop the firm's sites in Bridgend and Pencoed.

He said: "This is however, small consolation for those who have lost their livelihood in Bridgend."

The Japanese firm is cutting 400 jobs at Bridgend and another 250 jobs at its nearby Pencoed assembly plant.

Sir Howard, who was appointed chief executive of Sony in March, was speaking during his fellowship acceptance speech at the University of Glamorgan.

The Sony plant in Bridgend
Sony was one of the first Japanese firms to operate in Wales

He said the announcement to axe hundreds of posts had been the result of decisions taken 10 years ago which were having consequences today in a globalised world.

But the 63-year-old Cardiff-born executive held out some promise of new investment.

He said: "I am well aware of the human consequences and we will try to find alternatives for the Bridgend site.

"At the same time we are trying to increase manufacturing at Pencoed, perhaps with new high-definition broadcast cameras."

Last month Sony said a total of 400 jobs will go at its main factory in Bridgend by March 2006. Another 250 will be lost at the Pencoed assembly plant, leaving 300 jobs.

The losses were blamed on the downturn in demand for traditional televisions.

Last week, Tony Blair met three south Wales MPs to discuss recent job losses in the Bridgend area, which also include 170 at the town's Wrigleys factory and around 240 at the furniture group Christie Tyler.

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