Disney to begin first round of mass layoffs this week as 7,000 cuts await

Bob Iger
Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co., speaks during the Disney Legends Awards at the D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California, U.S., on Friday, July 14, 2017. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Disney to begin first round of mass layoffs this week as 7,000 cuts await

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Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the entertainment company would begin its first round of mass layoffs this week.

In a memo to employees on Monday, Iger said the process to notify affected staff would begin. He noted that two additional rounds of cuts are expected over the next couple of months, according to a report.

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Iger wrote that the cuts are “necessary for creating a more effective, coordinated and streamlined approach to our business,” adding that operational needs have been under evaluation since the cuts were first announced.

In February, Iger said the company would be cutting 7,000 jobs amid a restructuring of its three core entities: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and its Parks, Experiences, and Products.

A second round of layoffs expected in April will reportedly be “larger” than the first round taking place this week and contain “several thousand” layoffs. Iger said the third round is set for “the beginning of the summer [and will] reach our 7,000-job target.”

“For our employees who aren’t impacted, I want to acknowledge that there will no doubt be challenges ahead as we continue building the structures and functions that will enable us to be successful moving forward. I ask for your continued understanding and collaboration during this time,” Iger wrote. “In tough moments, we must always do what is required to ensure Disney can continue delivering exceptional entertainment to audiences and guests around the world — now, and long into the future.”

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Iger began his second stint as Disney’s CEO in November, following Bob Chapek leaving the position after only 2 1/2 years on the job.

In February, Iger announced he plans to step down from his second stretch as the Disney leader after two years.

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