The Walt Disney Company is ridding its hallways, corridors, theme parks, and studios of useless, unnecessary, and unwanted employees in a wave of massive Disney layoffs, and details are just coming to light.
On Tuesday, an exclusive report shed some of that light on Disney’s plans concerning the laying off of more than 7,000 employees–namely, those who are deemed by their managers as unnecessary. Last week, managers across The Walt Disney Company were reportedly instructed to create lists of employees most deserving of losing their jobs: those who are, to quote one report, “redundant and disposable.”
In February, during the earnings call for the fiscal first quarter, Disney CEO Bob Iger unveiled a multi-faceted plan to right the financial ship at Disney and cut costs of more than $5 billion. Following Iger’s revelations on the same call about the company’s exceptional financial performance over the quarter–most of which exceeded even Wall Street’s projections–made news of massive cuts seem almost laughable.
In the fiscal first quarter, Disney’s revenue grew to $23.5 billion–an increase of 8% over the previous year. And the Company’s earnings per share increased to $0.99. But for CEO Bob Iger, C-level executives like CFO Christine McCarthy, and millions of shareholders, the increases, the growth, and the shattered projections didn’t scratch the itch, and the veteran CEO said that things would be changing within the company, effective immediately, including preparations for laying off 7,000 employees at Disney–or about 4% of its global workforce. Meanwhile, Universal Orlando Resort is desperate to hire more than 2,500 employees.
So the latest news coverage about the planned layoffs of Cast Members at the company over the past several days didn’t shock anyone living above ground, though the push to determine who will get the axe first did foster lots of questions that simply were not answered until now.
According to Deadline, the layoffs will be carried out in multiple rounds–possibly three in total–rather than in one fail swoop. March 30 and March 31 have both been mentioned as possible first days of layoffs, though Disney has not confirmed this. Insiders say that a big wave of cuts will take place in late April, though the reasoning behind a gap between rounds is not clear. And a third round of layoffs could take place in May.
Disney execs have been planning the specifics over the last several weeks, and according to insiders at Disney, the majority of managers have already submitted their respective lists of “useless” employees. Though Iger initially said that the decision to make cuts was not one he “took lightly,” the writing is on the wall–and it spells out an unrelenting loyalty to shareholders above all else–and a dedication to unsurpassed profitability, despite gains already being made.
Tuesday’s report went on to suggest that the cuts will happen across all divisions at The Walt Disney Company: Disney Entertainment, Parks, Experiences, and Products, and at ESPN.
“Virtually every part of the sprawling Entertainment division is expected to be impacted in a meaningful way. There have been rumors about potential significant cuts at Hulu as well as sister studios ABC Signature and 20th Television, both on the business and content side. Despite rampant speculation about the two major TV studios potentially merging operations in some form, that still does not appear to be imminent.”
When news of the layoffs and of a massive restructuring of the company was announced in February, investors seemed well-pleased. But–as it has done for some time now–the stock has fallen yet again in recent weeks. As of closing bell on Tuesday, shares were at $96.54, having seen only a 2% increase in 2023 to date.