Walt Disney Co. began letting go thousands of employees on Monday in the entertainment giant’s ongoing push to cut about 7,000 jobs this year.
This is the second of what’s expected to be three rounds of cuts, Disney said in a statement. The first reductions to Disney’s 220,000-person workforce came in March. This round, which will last through Thursday, should bring the total positions eliminated to around 4,000, the company said.
Disney’s latest job reductions, which Bloomberg reported last week, are part of Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger’s ambition to save $5.5 billion in annual costs. The company is seeking to pare its commitment to general entertainment and prioritize franchises and well-recognized brands. Disney Entertainment, which houses the company’s non-sports related film and TV businesses, is a focus of the reductions.
Cuts are coming to all of the company’s divisions, stretching from the company headquarters in Burbank, California, to Connecticut, where its ESPN sports networks are based. Hourly workers at the theme parks will not be affected, the company said. The third round should come before the beginning of summer.
Disney is racing to curb losses on its flagship Disney+ streaming service, which debuted in 2019. Wall Street’s attention since then has shifted from subscriber growth to the staggering cost of operating online video platforms.
Iger returned to lead Disney in November after the company disclosed a $1.47 billion quarterly loss in its streaming arm, which also includes stakes in Hulu and ESPN+ products.