Panasonic president, chairman take 50% pay cut

TOKYO (AFP) - The president and chief executive of Japanese electronics giant Panasonic will have their salaries halved as part of a move to take the blame for the firm's financial woes, the company said on Wednesday.

President Kazuhiro Tsuga and Chairman Fumio Ohtsubo have been returning 40 per cent of their pay since November as a voluntary measure, while other executives have also given back up to 20 per cent of their wages, a company spokesman said.

But as of July, the programme will be made official, she said.

The president and incoming-chairman Shusaku Nagae will receive a 50-per-cent pay cut, she said, adding that pay reductions for other executives were to be formalised.

According to the firm's official filing with the government for fiscal 2011, the company paid then-chairman Kunio Nakamura 133 million yen (S$1.68 million) and 113 million yen to then-president Ohtsubo.

Japan's entire electronics sector has suffered from slow demand, falling prices and stiff international competition.

Panasonic expects a net loss of 765 billion yen for the year to March 2013, blaming it on slumping sales of televisions and other electronics as well as huge restructuring costs.

The company was also negotiating with its unions over proposed pay cuts for its thousands of staff to reduce costs, the spokesman said.