Disney CEO Bob Iger, who returned to lead the company roughly six months ago, announced the cost-cutting strategy recently implemented through budgetary and labor reductions is on track to “meet or exceed” the $5.5 billion savings target.
Disney Budget Target Nearly Acquired
Executives at The Walt Disney Company were asked by Iger to identify thousands of potential layoff candidates in an effort to cut nearly $5.5 billion in costs. Iger is reportedly on “a push for profitability” as his second stint as CEO.
The first round of layoffs began in late March. Senior Vice President of Production for Hulu, Mark Levenstein, and Senior VP of Production Management & Operations For Freeform, Jayne Bieber, were among the first executives to be let go. Also laid off was VP of Corporate Communications for The Walt Disney Company, Jeffrey R. Epstein, and Marvel Entertainment Chairman, Ike Perlmutter. Disney’s “Metaverse” team was also terminated.
A second wave included the dissolution of Disney TV Studios marketing, Freeform & ABC executive layoffs, and an overall 15% reduction within the entertainment division.
The company’s restructuring comes after previous CEO Bob Chapek was fired last November. Though many changes were made within the company immediately after his exit, the stock price continued to be an issue. The majority of job cuts were delayed until after the April 3 shareholders meeting.
An additional, final round of layoffs will take effect before the start of summer 2023.
The layoffs are not set to affect regular theme park employees. Approximately 28,000 Cast Members were already laid off during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CEO describes these decisions as a “significant transformation to realign Disney for sustained growth and success.” Ultimately, its stated aim is to return creativity and authority to leaders, as well as streamline operations.