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Namco Bandai to Cut 10% of Workforce

Company announces restructuring following loss forecast. Namco Bandai Games upper management to revert to pre-April 2009 structure.

Ishikawa (left) and Unozawa (right).

Sales and profits are down at Namco Bandai Holdings. The company announced revised projections for the year ending March 2010, lowering its expected sales from the 400,000 million yen announced in August 2009 to 380,000 million. It now expects a net loss of 31,000 million yen for the year, instead of the 8,500 million expected gain that was previously announced.

As reason for the revision, the company cited lower-than-expected sales for major game titles, the only exception being Tekken 6. Other areas of the company's business, including amusement facilities and visual and music content, saw sluggish results.

To combat the losses, the company will be initiating a restructuring plan for its group companies. This plan is known as the "Bandai Namco Group Restart Plan" and will go into effect in April.

As part of the plan, current Namco Bandai Holdings president Shukuo Ishikawa will take up a concurrent post as president of Namco Bandai Games. Current Namco Bandai Games president Shin Unozawa will become Namco Bandai Games' vice president.

This change reverts Namco Bandai Games' upper management to its structure prior to last April, when Ishikawa moved from Namco Bandai Games CEO to Namco Bandai Holdings CEO, and Unozawa moved from Namco Bandai Games vice president to Namco Bandai Games CEO.

The restructuring plan also calls for personnel cuts. The company expects to trim 630 people, or about 10% of its full group force of around 7,000, by the end of fiscal 2010 (March, 2011). This will be done through voluntary retirements, starting first with Namco Bandai Games.

(Impress Watch reports a target cut of 200 at Namco Bandai Games, although I haven't been able to see this figure for myself in Namco Bandai's official press materials).

If you're interested in going in-depth with Namco Bandai's restructuring plans, and don't mind an overwhelming dose of double speak, you can read English versions of the company's full press releases here

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