Disney has announced plans to eliminate about 7,000 jobs in a sweeping cost-cutting effort, becoming the latest prominent company to lay off workers amid global economic uncertainty, The Washington Post reports.
“While this is necessary to address the challenges we face today, I do not take this decision lightly.”
Chief Executive Bob Iger said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
The cuts are part of Disney’s $5.5 billion cost-cutting effort, Iger said. He outlined a reorganization that aims, among other things, to “put creativity back at the center of the company” and make its streaming business profitable.
In November, Iger stunned the entertainment world when he returned to head Disney, replacing Bob Chapek, whose brief tenure was marked by pandemic struggles and public relations missteps, The Washington Post reports.
Iger’s return was seen as a move to restore the company to the golden era he helped usher in, even as the company faced major hurdles, including a cooling streaming market, a stuttering theater business and some of Disney’s biggest franchises – like Marvel – that were in a state of flux. Iger then promised a return to what he described as the creative “heart and soul” of the company.
Iger described the cuts as a necessary part of a “transformation” that includes restructuring the company into three main segments: ESPN, theme parks and entertainment, including movies and the Disney Plus streaming service.
With such cuts, Disney becomes yet another company that has continued this unpleasant trend. Particularly companies in the technology, financial and housing sectors, which are more sensitive to rising borrowing costs due to higher interest rates and which go to the drastic measures of laying people off. But despite the high-profile layoffs, unemployment remains at its lowest level in decades.