Disney's Bloodbath Gets Underway as 7,000 Employees Face the Axe

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that Disney will initiate an aggressive round of layoffs this week, the first of three rounds of cuts that will result in approximately 7,000 job losses.


The measured move is part of a broader strategy to cut costs and restore the company’s financial health. As part of this strategy, Disney last month announced that they would cut $5.5 billion in expenses, including $3 billion in content spending.

“As I shared with you in February, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our overall workforce by approximately 7,000 jobs as part of a strategic realignment of the company, including important cost-saving measures necessary for creating a more effective, coordinated and streamlined approach to our business,” Iger wrote in a memo to staff first obtained by CNBC.

He continued:

This week, we begin notifying employees whose positions are impacted by the company’s workforce reductions. Leaders will be communicating the news directly to the first group of impacted employees over the next four days. A second, larger round of notifications will happen in April with several thousand more staff reductions, and we expect to commence the final round of notifications before the beginning of the summer to reach our 7,000-job target.

Iger added that decision was not taken lightly:

The difficult reality of many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly. This company is home to the most talented and dedicated employees in the world, and so many of you bring a lifelong passion for Disney to your work here. That’s part of what makes working at Disney so special. It also makes it all the more difficult to say goodbye to wonderful people we care about. I want to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to every departing employee for your numerous contributions and your devotion to this beloved company.


Iger, who returned to the role as CEO in November 2022 just two years after stepping down, added that there would “no doubt be challenges ahead” and asked employees for their “understand and collaboration during this time.” He took over from his successor Bob Chapek, who was dismissed after a disastrous year in which the company became embroiled in political controversy and its share price fell by 44 percent.

Disney follows Warner Bros. Discovery and other media giants in seeking to cut back costs after being impacted severely by the global reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. The company has admitted that its streaming services, led by Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, are still losing money although they hope to reverse this trend by 2024.

An important factor in Disney’s troubles has undoubtedly been its aggressive embrace of the left-wing political agenda, a trend that seeps into everything from its children’s programming to its amusement parks. Last year, the company foolishly declared war on the political agenda of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, leading him to rescind the company’s special tax arrangements and winning re-election by a record 20-point margin.


Another defining moment was the company’s decision to fire fan favorite Gina Carano from The Mandalorian, a move that enraged conservatives across the country. Disney has also become notorious for aggressively pushing themes of social justice, with the forced assimilation of LGBT characters and the pushing of woke narratives across its content offering.


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