Disney begins 7,000 layoffs amid cost-cutting measures


28th March 2023 – (California) Disney, one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, has begun layoffs in an effort to streamline its business and control costs. The company had announced earlier this year that it planned to eliminate 7,000 jobs across several of its major divisions, including Disney Entertainment, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and corporate.

According to a letter sent by CEO Bob Iger to employees and seen by Reuters, the first group of impacted employees will be notified over the next four days. A larger round of layoffs will happen in April, with several thousand more staff reductions, and a final round will start before the beginning of summer.

The layoffs come as Disney seeks to save $5.5 billion in costs and make its money-losing streaming business profitable. The company has been facing financial challenges since the early euphoric embrace of video streaming, when established media companies lost billions as they launched competitors to Netflix.

The layoffs will impact several major divisions of the company, with the exception of ESPN. Details of the layoffs had been closely guarded by the company, though rumours had been circulating about areas of possible cuts, causing anxiety among employees.

Despite the cuts, officials for two of the unions representing cast members at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Florida, said that “guest-facing” services were not expected to be affected by the layoffs.

The news of the layoffs has been met with mixed reactions. SVB MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson said that the company had been talking about the need to cut costs since last fall, and that the layoffs had been a long time in the making.

While acknowledging that the layoffs were necessary, CEO Bob Iger said in his letter to employees that the reality of colleagues and friends leaving the company was not something that was taken lightly. Many of those affected bring a lifelong passion for Disney to their work, he added.

Looking ahead, Disney will continue to face financial challenges in the highly competitive entertainment industry. However, the company remains one of the most recognizable brands in the world and has a loyal fan base. With careful planning and strategic decision-making, Disney can weather the current storm and emerge even stronger in the future.