Disney will begin a long-expected series of layoffs this week — signaling that a “larger” round of cuts is planned for April as the Mouse House looks to slash 7,000 jobs.
CEO Bob Iger detailed plans for the bloodbath in an ominous memo to staffers Monday. The first set of Disney employees will receive their pink slips by the end of this week.
The “second, larger round of notifications” will occur in April and consist of “several thousand more staff reductions.”
A third round of cuts is expected to occur “before the beginning of the summer to reach our 7,000-job target,” Iger added.
“For our employees who aren’t impacted, I want to acknowledge that there will no doubt be challenges ahead as we continue building the structures and functions that will enable us to be successful moving forward,” Iger said in the memo, which was obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.
Iger has led a rapid restructuring at Disney since returning as the company’s CEO last November. In February, the longtime executive first announced the 7,000 layoffs would take place as part of a $5.5 billion cost-cutting plan.
In his memo, Iger said the layoffs were “important cost-saving measures necessary for creating a more effective, coordinated and streamlined approach to our business.”
“In tough moments, we must always do what is required to ensure Disney can continue delivering exceptional entertainment to audiences and guests around the world — now, and long into the future,” Iger added.
Disney has more than 200,000 employees across its various business interests.
Of the $5.5 billion Disney is aiming to save, some $2.5 billion would come from operational cost reductions, while $3 billion is linked to savings on spending cuts for non-sports content.
Disney embarked on the budget-tightening stint after facing pressure from activist investors who accused the company of overspending on its streaming business.
Iger has also reorganized Disney’s sprawling business into three segments — one focused on film, television and streaming assets, one on the sports media giant ESPN and one on the company’s theme parks and experiences.
The Disney CEO has also cracked down on the company’s corporate workforce, implementing a requirement that staffers return to the office at least four days per week beginning on March 1.
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