The Walt Disney Company on Monday began laying off 7,000 employees announced earlier this year, with CEO Bob Iger working to save the company about $5.5 billion, in a letter sent to employees Monday.
Several key divisions of the company — Disney Entertainment, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and Corporate — will be affected, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Iger had previously announced layoffs across the company after he returned to the CEO role in November.
The cuts come after the company reported profits of $23.51 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of $23.44 billion. The company’s share price has fallen more than 30 percent in the past year, as the company faces controversy over former CEO Bob Chapek’s disastrous wading into the culture wars.
Plus, the House of Mouse received a huge publicity hit as Ron DeSantis officially took control of Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement in his war with the ‘corporate kingdom’ in a move that would give him the power to pick and force the board of directors. Pay $700 million in taxes and debt.
The Walt Disney Company on Monday began laying off 7,000 employees announced earlier this year, with CEO Bob Iger (pictured) working to save about $5.5 billion, in a letter sent to employees Monday.
It comes as Governor and First Lady of Florida Casey DeSantis admitted “ironically” that they got married at Disney in 2009 and are now in a fight with the “Woke” company.
DeSantis celebrated with a stroke of the pen signaling that “Disney’s kingdom is coming to an end” as he vowed to make the company pay its fair share of taxes.
The Sunshine State now has jurisdiction over the once self-governing special tax-exempt zone that includes the entire Walt Disney World Resort, which was Founded in 1967.
“Disney is losing its self-governing status, and the state of Florida is the new mayor in town,” he said at a press briefing on Monday. “Fasten your seatbelt – there is a lot to be done.”
The entertainment industry has seen a downturn since the beginning of its euphoric embrace of video streaming, when established media companies lost billions as they launched competitors to Netflix.
They began to rein in spending when Netflix posted its first loss of subscribers in a decade in early 2022, and Wall Street began to prioritize profitability over subscriber growth.
Iger said Disney will begin notifying the first group of employees affected by the workforce cuts within the next four days.
A second, larger round of job cuts will occur in April, “with several thousand headcount cuts”. The letter said the last round would start before the start of summer.
Entertainment group Burbank announced in February that it would cut 7,000 jobs as part of an effort to save billions in costs and make its money-losing streaming business profitable.
The company’s share price has fallen more than 30 percent in the past year, as the company faces controversy over former CEO Bob Chapek’s disastrous wading into the culture wars.
ESPN was not affected by this week’s round of cuts, but it is expected to be included in later rounds.
“The hard reality of so many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly,” Iger wrote, noting that many “bring a lifelong passion for Disney characters” to their work.
Details of the layoffs have been closely guarded by the company, though insiders expected cuts ahead of Disney’s annual shareholder meeting on April 3.
Concern is growing within Disney, as rumors have swirled about potential cutbacks.
“It’s a black box dark box,” said a Disney executive who spoke to Reuters last week.
Many expected the cuts to fall heavily on Disney’s media and entertainment division, which was scrapped in the company’s restructuring.
The unit has been without a leader since Karim Daniel’s exit in November, shortly after Egger returned as CEO of the company.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” said SVB Moffett-Nathanson analyst Michael Nathanson, adding that the company first began “whispering” about the need for affordability last fall, when Bob Chapek was still Disney’s CEO.
According to Business Insider, the first wave of cuts is expected in the coming weeks as managers are expected to bid for cuts.
A person familiar with the company told the news outlet that they are confident layoffs will drop in April
A lot of the layoffs are expected in the entertainment division, which includes Disney+, as well as ESPN, which includes ESPN+
Josh D’Amaro, president of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, sent a memo to parks employees in February warning that the profitable division would be subject to cuts.
Officials at two unions representing cast members at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Florida, said that “guest-facing” services are not expected to be affected by the layoffs.
said Paul Cox, president of the International Alliance for Staged Workers Local 631.
On a February earnings call where the job cuts were announced, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said the company is looking to save approximately $6 billion.
According to McCarthy, part of the cuts will also come from reducing spending on television and movies.
The rest of the money will come from marketing and other non-content areas.
Last month, Iger also announced that The Walt Disney Company would restructure into three divisions: Entertainment, ESPN, Parks, Experiences, and Products.
After the company aired an ad during the Super Bowl last month, executives faced intense backlash for paying millions to view the commercial amid news of their termination.
The thirty-second commercials shown during the Super Bowl were reported to cost as much as $7 million per slot.
“There’s just something about this celebratory Disney ad that’s bugging me… maybe the recent announcement of 7,000 layoffs and at least $7 million spent on advertising,” one person said on Twitter.
Disney said the ad, which reviewed 100 years of movie content and thanked fans for their support, was paid for with previous ad credits.
Drew Lewis, Chief Content Officer, Redbear Films, chirp In February: “How many jobs could have been saved instead of spending $7 million on this year’s Centennial Declaration?”
Another user said in a tweet, “The layoffs were done as cost cutting, spending on (Super Bowl) advertising is not necessary.”
One comment Under a post by Disney’s lead account: “A company with quite a dark history. How do we handle the recent layoffs of 7,000 employees?”
Some have taken to Twitter to question the Super Bowl ad amid a wave of recent job cuts at Disney
Critics took to Twitter to express their disgust with Disney
Disney employs more than 200,000, which means roughly 1% have signed the petition
Petition signatories span ABC, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios, Hulu, Pixar, and FX
Disney’s restructuring and layoffs will affect approximately 3.5 percent of the company’s workforce
It’s been a tough few months for the company’s executives as they have also been criticized for their recent business decisions.
At the end of February, DailyMail.com reported that more than 2,300 workers had recently signed a petition calling on Iger to reconsider a “back to the office” order cutting back on their remote work days.
Employees claim that delegating will lead to “forced resignations between some of the most hard-to-replace talent and vulnerable communities” while “dramatically reducing productivity, output and efficiency”.
according to Washington PostThe petition was submitted to senior management in January.
Disney currently employs more than 200,000 petition signers ABC, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios, Hulu, Pixar, and FX.
“This policy will slow, or even reverse, our post-COVID recovery and growth by creating severe resource shortages and causing an irreparable loss of institutional knowledge,” the employees wrote in the petition obtained by The Washington Post.