Panasonic to Slash 17,000 Jobs, Shutter Factories

Now's not a fun time to be working at Panasonic, not when you're constantly looking over your shoulder wondering if the corporate axe will come crashing down. Over the next two years, Panasonic said it plans to hand out another 17,000 pink slips and turn out the lights at up to 70 factories in order to trim costs and remain competitive.

This comes after Panasonic already slashed 18,000 jobs in the past year, which will bring the overall tally to 35,000 when the higher ups are finished showing workers the exit door, presumably (and hopefully) with severance pay in hand.

"The figure is huge, but so is the company, and for an old-fashioned one like Panasonic, this is a big move," said Toru Hashizume, chief investment officer at Stats Investment Management in Tokyo.

According to a Reuters report, increasing competition from the likes of Samsung, LG Electronics, and others has Panasonic looking to restructure its business operations with a greater focus on energy-related businesses such as rechargeable batteries. With that in mind, Panasonic last year said it was setting aside $9.4 billion to make Panasonic Electric Works and Sanyo Electric wholly owned units. The move resulted in 160,000 additional workers, some of which Panasonic is now looking to eliminate.