The Walt Disney Company Reignites a Wave of Layoffs This Week

sorcerer's apprentice mickey mouse with axe
Credit: Walt Disney Animation

The Disney Company has ramped up layoffs this week yet again, a move that is reminiscent of the massive waves of layoffs that took place during the spring of 2023 and were described by some as a “bloodbath” from which no one at Disney was safe.

cinderella castle and dark clouds

Credit: Disney/Canva

Massive Waves of Layoffs in 2023

In February 2023, shortly after Disney’s Board of Directors reinstated veteran CEO Bob Iger to his post, Iger announced plans for a massive cost-cutting initiative that was aimed at shaving $5.5 billion from the company’s expenditures.

Part of the plan called for the layoffs of 7,000 Walt Disney Company employees, though it wasn’t clear who would be laid off and who would remain.

bob iger with group of cast members at disney world

Credit: Disney Parks

“After a solid first quarter, we are embarking on a significant transformation,” Iger said during Disney’s earnings call on February 8 that year, “one that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises. We believe the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity–while reducing expenses–will lead to sustained growth and profitability for our streaming business, better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value for our shareholders.”

In the weeks that followed, managers across the company were instructed to submit the names of their most useless and “replaceable” employees in an effort to help decide which employees would be slated for dismissal.

bob iger and cast members

Credit: Disney/Canva

By the end of a series of cuts, a complete restructuring of the Disney Company’s divisions had been implemented, and thousands of Disney employees at ABC News, National Geographic, and Marvel, among other divisions of the company, had lost their jobs–a total of 7,000 jobs in all–in response to the Disney CEO mandate about cutting costs.

A New Wave of Layoffs Takes Hold This Week

This week, layoffs ramped up again, this time at Marvel Entertainment in New York and at Marvel Studios in Burbank, California.

marvel logo

Credit: Marvel Entertainment

Layoffs took place on Monday, and approximately 15 employees were left without employment. They included junior-level employees in production and development. No additional layoffs are anticipated beyond the ones that took place on Monday.

We’ve reduced output, particularly at Marvel,” CEO Bob Iger said during The Walt Disney Company’s earnings call in February 2024. “When you fix or when you address these issues in movies, you do three things. You get aggressive at making sure the films you’re making can be even better. Sometimes, you kill projects you don’t believe in. And, of course, you put new things in the pipeline that you do believe in [and] that you have much more confidence in, and we’re doing all of that.”

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Credit: Disney

Monday’s layoffs reportedly come as Marvel Entertainment strives to refocus its slate of content. As part of Marvel’s attempts to scale back its output, Marvel Studios has only one film opening in 2024–Deadpool & Wolverine, which is slated to debut in July. The studio will also only release two new live-action television shows this year.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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