The Japanese Nikkei business daily is reporting that Sony is planning to cut its global workforce by 10,000 workers, or about 6 percent of its entire workforce by as early as the end of 2012. About 5,000 workers will be cut due to the restructuring of Sony's chemical and small and medium LCD businesses, in addition to another 5,000 domestic and international cuts. The move is meant to improve operational efficiency, while accelerating the company's shift toward mobile devices.

The cuts are in response to mounting losses in Sony's TV business; part of a broader measure that may include asking seven of the company's executive directors including Chairman Howard Stringer to return their bonuses. Unlike the 2008 layoffs, which primarily consisted of streamlining and selling off Sony's production capacity, the new cuts are expected to affect all of Sony's groups, ranging from development, to production, to management — both foreign and domestic.

The news follows recent reorganization announcements from the company resulting from 2011's lackluster financial results, which are expected to culminate in a $2.9 billion loss when Sony releases its annual report in May.

Update: A rep from Sony Japan emphasized to us that this is a Nikkei story, not an official announcement from Sony, and that the company has no comment at this time.