Disney’s Bob Iger is planning to lay off 7,000 employees in a ‘significant transformation’ to cut back costs as he eliminates some of his predecessor’s efforts.
On Wednesday, Iger announced his plans to restructure the company, effectively eliminating the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution group set up under former CEO Bob Chapek.
The new structure, according to the , will have only three divisions, eVDEn eve NAKliYaT Disney Entertainment — which will include film and TV assets as well as Disney+; ESPN — which will include ESPN and ESPN+; and eVdEN eve NakLiyAt Parks, Experiences and Products — which will include theme parks and the consumer products team.
As part of that changeup, Disney will cut 7,000 jobs — representing a little over three percent of its global workforce.The cuts are likely to predominantly affect the entertainment and EVdEn EVE NAKLiyAT ESPN divisions, despite the company beating analyst’s expectations for the fourth quarter of 2022.
The changeup comes as Gov.Ron DeSantis and the company faces a proxy battle with an activist investor seeking to gain a seat on the board.
Disney CEO Bob Iger is planning to lay off some 7,000 employees as he restructures the company
In announcing the new structure Wednesday, Iger likened it to changes he made at the media giant in 2005, when he first became CEO, and in 2016, when Disney announced a shift to streaming as it bolstered its assets with the acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
‘Our new structure is aimed at returning greater authority to our creative leaders and making them accountable for how their content performs financially,’ he said on an earnings call.
‘Our former structure severed that link and must be restored,’ he continued, noting: ‘Moving forward, our creative teams will determine what content we’re making, how it’s distributed and monetized and how it gets marketed. Here’s more info regarding EVDEn evE naKliYaT look at our web page. ‘
Under the plans, Alex Bergman and Dana Walden will co-chair the Disney Entertainment division, with Jimmy Pitaro continuing to lead ESPN and Josh D’Amaro continuing to lead parks and experiences.
And, in addition to the planned layoffs, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy also said the company is targeting $5.5billion in cost savings, including $3billion related to future content savings with the remaining $2.5billion coming from existing marketing, staffing and technology costs.
But the move comes as Disney beat earnings expectations.
The company announced on Wednesday that it earned $1.28billion, or EVdEn evE nAKLiYat 70 cents per share, in the three months through December 31, up from a net income of $1.1billion, or 60 cents per share a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, Disney earned 99 cents per share.Analysts, on average, were expecting adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share, according to FactSet.
In total, revenue grew eight percent to $23.51 billion from $21.82 billion a year earlier. Analysts were expecting revenue of just $23.44 billion.
The company also said Disney+ ended the quarter with 161.8million subscribers, down one percent since October 1, while Hulu and ESPN+ each posted a two percent increase in paid subscribers.
Following the news, shares of Disney rose three percent in after-hours trading.
Much of the layoffs are expected to be in the entertainment division, which includes Disney+, as well as ESPN, which includes ESPN+
Disney ended the fourth quarter of 2022 with $1.28billion, or 70 cents per share
Disney shares ticked upwards following the earnings call on Wednesday
But Disney has been under fire recently by billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, who has claimed Iger is not fit to lead the company, citing falling revenues.
Last week, Peltz — the founder of Trian Management — sent a letter to Disney shareholders on Thursday asking them to vote for him rather than longtime board member Michael BG Froman.
It was just the latest move Peltz made in his ongoing war with Disney, after previously filing paperwork with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for a seat at the Mickey Mouse table and launching a campaign across social media.