Disney Eyes "Multiple Rounds" of Layoffs, May Begin Next Week: Report
DH is reporting from sources that The Walt Disney Company is eyeing multiple rounds of layoffs, with the first potentially hitting next week.
Last month, we speculated if Marvel Studios & Lucasfilm were already feeling the impact of The Walt Disney Company's less-than-impressive earnings call. That was when CEO Bob Iger confirmed a number of major changes were on the way or already in play. Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution was gone, and in its place are Disney Entertainment (Co-chaired by Alan Bergman and Dana Walden, this division will include Disney+ and Film & TV assets), ESPN (Led by Jimmy Pitaro, the division will include ESPN and ESPN+), and Parks, Experiences & Products (Led by Josh D'Amaro, this division will include theme parks & consumer products teams). In addition, the company announced it would cut approximately 7000 jobs as part of the restructuring, representing slightly more than 3% of the company's worldwide workforce. And with those layoffs, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy confirmed that the company was looking for $5.5B in cost savings ($3B in future content savings – non-sports related – and another $2.5B from costs such as marketing, staffing, technology, and other areas (with $1 billion reportedly already underway). Now, Deadline Hollywood is reporting from sources that a rough timeline is in play as to when those cuts could take place, with the first reportedly set to happen ahead of Disney's April 3rd virtual shareholder meeting.
According to insiders speaking with DH, several rounds of cuts are planned, with next week being eyed as the timeframe for the first (with March 30 or 31 listed but not confirmed. The larger round of cuts (which the DH report describes as "the big one" and a "bloodbath") is expected in late April. As for the third round of cuts, the report states that it could actually occur between the previous two or follow the round in late April (though Disney declined to comment). DH also reports that "most managers already have submitted their layoff target reports," a major step taken by corporations ahead of announcing rounds of layoffs. The divisions listed above (as well as ESPN) are each expected to suffer cuts, with the Entertainment division reportedly "expected to be impacted in a meaningful way" – including "potential significant cuts" to Hulu, ABC Signature & 20th Television (though the two studios aren't expected to merge, as we originally rumored).
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