ESPN and Disney parks are hardest hit by Walt Disney Co. layoffs.
It hasn’t been a good week for Disney.
First, the iconic family entertainment brand saw one of its “Fantasmic” show dragons burst into flames in Anaheim last Saturday, just as the monster was supposed to draw swords with Mickey Mouse. No injuries were reported.
DON’T MISS:Disney Has Some Troubling Changes Planned For Its Employees.
Disney on April 24 took a flamethrower of a different sort and aimed it at 7,000 company jobs, with cuts at the firm’s ESPN and Disney parks drawing a good portion of the cuts.
The job cuts arrive at a time when recently re-installed chief executive officer Bob Iger focuses on firming up profits at a time when the entertainment giant is losing money. Disney’s direct-to-consumer division, for example, is cutting its budget by $4 billion this year after spending $33 billion on content in 2022.
“We got maybe intoxicated by our own sub growth,” Iger said on Feb. 9 in an interview with CNBC. “We’re still losing money on streaming. We need to turn that around.”
With layoffs underway, Iger is prioritizing a new strategy where every Disney division has to perform financially to justify its budget, citing a campaign to cut a whopping $5.5 billion in spending at the company. Disney is also planning on restructuring the company into three separate segments – Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
“After a solid first quarter, we are embarking on a significant transformation, one that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises,” Iger said after the company’s first-quarter earnings were released. “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.”
Disney stock is trading at $99.66 on April 24. The stock is down 16.99% over the last year.
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This story was originally published April 24, 2023, 5:42 PM.
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