Disney Begins Mass Layoffs

Sign for Disney | Image by chrisdorney/Shutterstock

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced on Monday that the company’s mass layoff plans had begun.

“This week, we begin notifying employees whose positions are impacted by the company’s workforce reductions,” Iger wrote in an internal memo on March 27, per Yahoo Finance.

He went on to explain that after this first group is laid off, a larger group of employees included in the layoff plans will be notified in April.

A bid to reduce costs by $5.5 billion, the plan to cut 7,000 jobs this year was announced by Iger during Disney’s Q1 earnings call on February 8, as The Dallas Express previously reported.

“I do not make this decision lightly. I have enormous respect and appreciation for the talent and dedication of our employees worldwide, and I’m mindful of the personal impact of these changes,” Iger said at the time, per Yahoo Finance.

The effort to lean down operations was coupled with plans to reorganize them in order to achieve “a more cost-effective coordinated and streamlined approach to our operations” as part of a commitment “to running our businesses more efficiently, especially in a challenging economic environment,” Iger explained.

Disney’s businesses were whittled down into three core segments: ESPN, Disney Entertainment, and Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.

This has involved some shuffling around of executives, with the leadership of Disney Entertainment now being shared by co-chairs Alan Bergman and Dana Walden. The streaming service Disney+ falls under this segment’s purview, which saw losses of $1.5 billion in Q4 and $1.1 billion in Q1. Yet with these changes, Iger expects it to be profitable by the close of the fiscal year 2024.

Josh D’Amaro will continue to lead Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, while ESPN Chair Jimmy Pitaro will now head all operations of the ESPN segment.

Disney’s stock has remained relatively stable following the layoff and restructuring news, with shares up by about 10% since the start of the year.

Yet in his recent memo, Iger warned those remaining in the company of dark clouds potentially lingering on the horizon.

“For our employees who aren’t impacted, I want to acknowledge that there will no doubt be challenges ahead … I ask for your continued understanding and collaboration during this time,” he wrote, per Yahoo Finance.

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