The second wave of staff layoffs at Disney began today, with up to 7,000 cuts by Thursday.
If you have been following shows like HBO’s Succession, you will know that running a multi-billion dollar enterprise like Waystar Royco can be a tough one. In the real world, Disney is even bigger, with its approximate $182 billion worth. This morning, they announced their second and largest round of planned layoffs. The statement outlined that 4,000 of its 7,000 total staff cuts have already started.
The full 7,000 layoffs are expected to be done by Thursday. A staff memo from Disney Entertainment Co-Chairmen Alan Bergman and Dana Walden laid out the number of people on the chopping block, with details that affected workers would be notified from today up until Thursday.
The first round of cuts happened last month, and a final round of layoffs will proceed in the summer. The execs wrote, “These are hard decisions and not ones we take lightly – but every decision has been made with considerable thought, and we are doing everything we can to make sure this process is conducted with respect and compassion.”
This week’s staff trimmings were already teased through employee rumours, as reported to Deadline. The company explained that these cuts would realize $5.5 billion in cost savings as a result of the layoffs and other restructuring actions. ESPN and Parks, Experiences and Products, the other two corporate divisions, will see staff cuts along with Entertainment. There was no indication that frontline workers at the Disney theme parks would lose their jobs.
With CEO Bob Iger‘s return, he already announced his intentions to downsize back in November. As his predecessor Bob Chapek failed to accomplish his company goals, Iger specified he would be making cuts to the centralized distribution organization created by Chapek. The leader at Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, Kareem Daniel, was also let go when Iger returned.
Iger recognizes that Disney+ was a big property losing a lot of money for the company, due to poor structuring. In the most recent quarter, the company reported a $1 billion loss in streaming, despite record-setting revenue of $5.3 billion. This was a slight improvement compared to the previous quarter, which saw a $1.5 billion red figure. Recently, the streamer lost about 2.4 million subscribers, which ended the quarter with 161.8 million.
To read the full memo from Bergman and Walden, you can check it out on The Hollywood Reporter, along with a memo from ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro.