Disney reached its 7,000 layoffs goal, handing out notices to the remaining employees impacted in its third round of job cuts last Friday ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Variety has confirmed.
The Mouse House’s target was to conclude these companywide layoffs, which focused most heavily on the media divisions and left the parks largely untouched, ahead of the summer.
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The company still has plans to eliminate more roles internationally over a period of time, according to a source close to the situation, but Disney has now concluded the benchmark it set in February, soon after Iger’s return as CEO upon the ousting of Bob Chapek.
Iger announced a sweeping a cost-cutting strategy, with the first round of staff reductions begun March 27. The second wave, which brought Disney’s total to 4,000 cuts, hit the week of April 24, and the third and final concluded May 26.
The 7,000 layoffs — which represent 3.2% of Disney’s total headcount of about 220,000 worldwide as of Oct. 1, 2022 — are part of Disney’s efforts to achieve about $5.5 billion in cost savings. Of that, $2.5 billion represents “non-content costs” (including labor costs) and $1 billion of those targeted cost-reductions were already underway in February, Iger said. Disney is aiming for an annualized reduction of $3 billion in non-sports content costs, expected to be realized over the next several years.
The cuts come amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike and Disney’s move to pull content from its streaming platforms, and following Disney’s reorg into three core business segments: Disney Entertainment, headed by co-chairs Dana Walden and Alan Bergman; ESPN, led by Jimmy Pitaro; Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, led by Josh D’Amaro.
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