Over the past couple of months, we have witnessed significant layoffs in almost all sectors of the economy. And at this point, it is clear that no company is safe. Even a giant force like The Walt Disney Company is planning huge layoffs, about 7,000 jobs, and cuts are likely to begin soon.
Insiders spoke to Deadline and reported that the layoffs are expected to take place in several rounds, with the first round due to take place at the end of next week. However, the bulk of the layoffs, which some call a “bloodbath”, should occur at the end of April.
There may or may not be a third round of layoffs. Some sources seem to expect layoffs between the two. Others believe that a third round may take place after the big one in April, but only if the company deems it necessary. It is unclear whether this means that all 7,000 cuts will be completed by April, and more may occur if necessary, or whether the company may eventually decide to cut fewer jobs.
The layoffs will reduce about 3% of the entire Disney workforce and, according to all reports, will cover all segments of the Disney business. It is reported that managers responsible for making decisions about which positions should be dismissed have submitted these reports. Now it’s just a matter of thousands of Disney Cast members waiting to see if they have a job.
Layoffs, unfortunately, have been a fairly regular occurrence at Disney over the years. Layoffs affected the company after the completion of the merger of Disney and Fox, as many positions became redundant. Thousands of people were laid off from Disney parks during the pandemic due to closures and limited capacity that was required at the time. However, there is no indication that these previous layoffs are isolating these units from what’s coming.
Of course, multiple rounds of layoffs will in no way help ease tensions. Even those who survive the first round will continue to wonder what the future might hold in the next month or so. It is impossible to believe that someone is completely safe. When layoffs occurred at Walt Disney Imagineering a couple of years ago, most of the cuts were made at the top of the organization, as this led to greater cost savings.
The layoffs are part of a $5.5 billion savings plan being implemented by newly returned CEO Bob Iger. We have already seen a significant reorganization of the company to reduce costs, including the dissolution of the media and entertainment division created by predecessor Bob Chapek. Disney is now divided into three divisions: Entertainment, Parks, Experiences and Products, and ESPN.
Walt Disney’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for April 2, which means that if this information is correct, the first round of layoffs will take place immediately before that. Bob Iger can tell you more about them at the meeting to give shareholders an idea of what to do next.