Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.

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GatanoII Regular Member • Posts: 420
Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.
1

Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs, CEO backtracked previous comments that camera business was not for sale, saying that’s no longer the case

This time the source is real not just rumors, the CEO Yasuo Takeuchi said:

“The issue of personnel will naturally need to be addressed,” “It’s a strategy to improve performance, and something that will come about in due course.”

Takeuchi also backtracked on some of his comments in the past that the camera business was not for sale, saying that may not be the case anymore. The imaging unit, which makes up 6% of sales, is the lowest margin and lowest growth businesses in Olympus’s portfolio.

Olympus, controls more than 70% of the global market for endoscopes.

https://photorumors.com/2019/11/19/bloomberg-olympus-may-cut-jobs-ceo-backtracked-previous-comments-that-camera-business-was-not-for-sale-saying-thats-no-longer-the-case/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-19/olympus-job-cuts-may-come-as-push-into-medical-tech-intensifies

From the above interview it seems the CEO wants to sell an "healty" Olympus (to make investors happy) to do so they can cut (or maybe sell) the camera division and then sell the healty endoscope division, or just sell the camera division.

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justmeMN Veteran Member • Posts: 9,316
Re: Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.
1

"...plans to almost double operating margin in the medium term..."

I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I don't see cameras fitting into that plan. Even Canon and Nikon are having problems with imaging division margins.

If memory serves, Olympus said that they were going to present a detailed camera-imaging division plan next quarter. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

OP GatanoII Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.
3

justmeMN wrote:

"...plans to almost double operating margin in the medium term..."

If they close or sell the camera division they can achive that ... and their investors want just that.

BTW, I don't see any big player (Canon, Sony Panasonic or even Nikon) that want to buy their camera division (that has nothing to offer to them)... the jobs that the CEO is going to cut are going to be in the camera division, Olimpus (camera division) is easier to close than sell.

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waiman Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.
3

I'm going to buy that M1X for $500, just slightly where they should have listed it at.  I'll still be one of less than 10 people who would have bought one.

LoneTree1
LoneTree1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,801
Re: Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.

GatanoII wrote:

justmeMN wrote:

"...plans to almost double operating margin in the medium term..."

If they close or sell the camera division they can achive that ... and their investors want just that.

BTW, I don't see any big player (Canon, Sony Panasonic or even Nikon) that want to buy their camera division (that has nothing to offer to them)...

That's probably true.  They've already adopted just about every piece of Olympus tech there is from ultrasonic sensor cleaning to (hopefully) decent IBIS.

digitallollygag Senior Member • Posts: 1,221
Re: Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.

Casio = Exited dedicated camera business

Samsung = Exited dedicated camera business

Olympus??

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OP GatanoII Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.

waiman wrote:

I'm going to buy that M1X for $500, just slightly where they should have listed it at. I'll still be one of less than 10 people who would have bought one.

If Panasonic continues to support M4/3 and not just FF (and you are interested in M4/3) it seems better to buy Olympus lenses (if the prices will drop) and use it on a a Panasonic camera.

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OP GatanoII Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.

digitallollygag wrote:

Casio = Exited dedicated camera business

Samsung = Exited dedicated camera business

Olympus??

Ricoh could buy the Olympus camera division and do the same "great" job they did with Pentax

In the long term only few will survive the smartphone cameras competition, that's the sad truth (or the happy truth because people will be happy just with their smartphones)

Canon, Sony , Panasonic  and Fujifilm seems that they could survive  (but 4 are almost too much, also one of them could disappear) , but Nikon in 10 years (or less) could be the new Olympus, if their mirrorless cameras don't gain momentum, but without having a microscope division (or something similar) that makes big  money for the company Nikon is the one that is in the most dangerous position in the current camera market, noting is certain, but if I have to bet after the death of Olympus and Pentax the next could be Nikon, but it will happen at a slow pace (in 10 years or so) as the pro base (the only  profitable clients that will want proper cameras and not just smartphones) is slow to move from one brand to another.

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tex Veteran Member • Posts: 8,181
sad news
1

Oly (my first serious digital cameras were Oly, C5050, C8080, E330, E3) made a bet on a smaller format that looked rational in the oughts, until Sony dropped the FF sensor bomb with their A900 and A850 cameras, ushering in the era of reasonably priced FF cameras.  Once that happened, the bet looked very bad.  Add in that nasty accounting scandal, and the fact that there's a limit to how small you can make an ILC and retain functionality from and ergonomics standpoint, and the prospects started looking dim.

Their latest and greatest just couldn't cut it in a now crowded highly capable camera field, and Panasonic has seen another way to go, with video (and it's a huge company).  I think the main thing that has kept Oly alive this long has been Canon and Nikon's amazing ability to stumble---imagine what things would look like if Canon and Nikon had been as sharp as Sony for the last 5-7 years.

We'll see what actually happens now, if someone will buy.  If they do, it will have to include a new strategy for the Oly brand.

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OP GatanoII Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: sad news
1

tex wrote:

Their latest and greatest just couldn't cut it in a now crowded highly capable camera field, and Panasonic has seen another way to go, with video (and it's a huge company). I think the main thing that has kept Oly alive this long has been Canon and Nikon's amazing ability to stumble---imagine what things would look like if Canon and Nikon had been as sharp as Sony for the last 5-7 years.

Canon for sure has a long term strategy they move at a slow pace (to maybe avoid errors?!?), but the are still the number 1 with the combined market of DSLR, Mirrorles and Lenses , they already have a very successful M series (since 2012) that is aimed at the low end and amateur market (that still dominates in Japan) the camera market is shrinking so they (and almost everyone else) moved to the much more profitable FF market, you can still sell less cameras, but make profit from the cameras and lenses, it's important to avoid losses and that's where Olympus has a problem, the cameras are good, but not enough to sell well to avoid a loss from their camera division.

Nikon was lost with the Nikon CX mount , 1 inch sensor was a bad move even worse than m4/3 (so CX mount is already dead), if Olympus adopted in the first time APSC instead of 4/3 sensor they could have been like Fuji that's not in such a bad shape with their cameras even without FF (but they have MF).

P.S.

The story is repeating 4/3 is dead thanks to affordable FF (and APSC) DSLR , now with mirrorless camera all going FF, could be the same story with m4/3, Panasonic has an escape plan with their FF L mount cameras , Oly is at a dead end.

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Jeff-Fa-Fa Junior Member • Posts: 35
Suitors
2

Best scenario is that one of the Chinese conglomerates will swoop in and buy the camera division in a fire sale.  The rest will go on as is .. perhaps with the camera division being run by the Chinese but with temporary royalty payments to the parent for use of the name.

Failing that .. the doors will probably close for good on the camera division.  With so many folks switching to smartphones the real/dedicated camera segment is a pretty tough place to live these days.

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Simon97
Simon97 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,121
Re: Cracks are forming for micro 4/3rds

A complete shame as I like the system so much. The possibility of Olympus leaving and Panasonic starting to persue full frame makes me wonder about its longevity. Well, none of this stops my current camera and lenses from working so...

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digitallollygag Senior Member • Posts: 1,221
Re: sad news

Yes, it would seem Panasonic saw the writing on the wall with staking everything on m4/3. Whether or not Olympus saw the writing on the wall is moot: that part of their imaging division I believe didn't have the resources (deep pockets) to migrate their hardware to full-frame.

Several years ago I remember people criticizing Olympus for trapping themselves within the confines of a small sensor, that it was a poor business decision. We're seeing maybe the critics were right. Too bad, their cameras and lenses are mostly top notch otherwise.

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doady Senior Member • Posts: 1,839
Anyone who commits or invests in smaller-than-FF sensor cameras
2

Anyone who commits or invests in smaller-than-FF sensor cameras is bound to fall further and further behind and eventually disappear into irrelevance. Olympus is no exception.

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Minos82 Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: sad news

I think the demise of the 4/3 is greatly exaggerated. "Everybody moving to FF" is what I read in the comments.

What a bunch of BS!
I go on safaris every year and in no universe will I haul a 200mm --- 800mm full frame lens. No freaking way, and yes I do see people hauling 50lb of pelican case with 2 or 3 dinosaur lenses weighting 10lb or more each.
Sorry, but no, I like to enjoy my holidays.

Whether Olympus closes or not is Wall Street-driven and due to the requirements from shark investors to increase short term profit margins or close divisions that would otherwise be profitable but would not generate the required return for mutual fund holders.

Wonder how Amazon managed to get an IPO in 97 and be unprofitable for almost a decade. Oh, and now Jeff is...

OP GatanoII Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: sad news
2

Minos82 wrote:

I think the demise of the 4/3 is greatly exaggerated. "Everybody moving to FF" is what I read in the comments.

What a bunch of BS!

The camera market is shrinking for everyone, this are facts, no one is safe, the only way to survive is to produce much more profitable cameras and FF is the way most manufacturers are going (and this are also facts) to have bigger margins.

I go on safaris every year and in no universe will I haul a 200mm --- 800mm full frame lens. No freaking way, and yes I do see people hauling 50lb of pelican case with 2 or 3 dinosaur lenses weighting 10lb or more each.
Sorry, but no, I like to enjoy my holidays.

What you want is not what Olympus share holders want, they want to make money and right now they are wasting their money in their camera division, this are also facts.

It has to be seen how much time they want to continue to loose money ... if you or others like you, that enjoy little cameras (but most mini camera users are now happy with a smartphone) don't buy enough camaras and lenses from Olympus they can't continue to stay in the camera business anymore, some day what their CEO said is going to happen and once the workers are gone also the camera division is going to disappear, unless someone is interested to buy a dying company division.

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BrentSchumer
BrentSchumer Senior Member • Posts: 2,329
Re: sad news
5

Minos82 wrote:

I think the demise of the 4/3 is greatly exaggerated. "Everybody moving to FF" is what I read in the comments.

What a bunch of BS!
I go on safaris every year and in no universe will I haul a 200mm --- 800mm full frame lens. No freaking way, and yes I do see people hauling 50lb of pelican case with 2 or 3 dinosaur lenses weighting 10lb or more each.
Sorry, but no, I like to enjoy my holidays.

Company management don't care if you personally like these cameras, they care whether or not there are enough people like you who are willing to pay more and more for Olympus cameras and lenses as a smaller and smaller market absorbs R&D.  People really liked the Samsung APSC cameras, but they weren't making Samsung enough to justify the diversion.

Whether Olympus closes or not is Wall Street-driven and due to the requirements from shark investors to increase short term profit margins or close divisions that would otherwise be profitable but would not generate the required return for mutual fund holders.

Return on equity is how companies are run.  The camera division isn't "profitable' but rather actively losing money, and no one expects Olympus to build you cameras as charity.

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LoneTree1
LoneTree1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,801
Re: Bloomberg: Olympus may cut jobs and sell or close camera division.

digitallollygag wrote:

Casio = Exited dedicated camera business

Samsung = Exited dedicated camera business

Olympus??

one of olympus's problems is no other anchor to keep them in cameras.  They don't make their own sensors, they aren't  building lenses for other brands or for other internal uses.  Unlike Canon, Sony and Sigma.

Peter Del Veteran Member • Posts: 6,452
Official, they are not selling their camera division, see ...
1
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BrentSchumer
BrentSchumer Senior Member • Posts: 2,329
Re: Official, they are not selling their camera division, see ...

Peter Del wrote:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63334895

Peter Del

Companies never announce shutting down their product lines until it happens. Olympus never announced that they were ending four thirds, Samsung had no plans to exit the dedicated camera business, etc.

"Currently have no plans" is lawyer speak for "it could happen tomorrow."

Hell, Sony has never confirmed that they are done with A mount.

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