Sony BMG chief operating officer Michael Smellie sent out a memo Tuesday offering either early retirement or a voluntary severance program for all eligible employees who choose to leave the company.

Sony BMG chief operating officer Michael Smellie sent out a memo Tuesday offering either early retirement or a voluntary severance program for all eligible employees who choose to leave the company.

More than 2,000 members of Sony BMG's international staff are expected to be cut. "We have designed these programs to offer you an opportunity to separate from Sony BMG with a favorable exit package that would not otherwise be available to you," Smellie wrote.

"Please note that the new company is continuing to evaluate its work force needs, and that the benefits provided to employees in connection with any possible future reductions in our work force may not be as favorable to employees as the benefits provided under these programs," he adds. A spokesman for Sony BMG declined comment.