Bob Iger is back as Disney’s CEO — and swinging the axe.
Disney will reduce its workforce by 7,000 employees in a bid to cut costs, Iger said Wednesday on the company’s earnings call for the year-end 2022 quarter. The figure represents 3.2% of Disney’s total headcount of about 220,000 worldwide as of Oct. 1, 2022.
The layoffs are part of Disney’s efforts to achieve about $5.5 billion in cost savings. Of that, $2.5 billion represents “non-content costs,” and $1 billion of the targeted cost-reductions are already underway, Iger said. In addition, Disney is aiming for a reduction of $3 billion in non-sports content costs.
Iger said he did not take the decision to cut jobs lightly. “I have enormous respect and appreciate for the dedication of our employees worldwide,” he said.
The announcement of the job cuts came after Iger announced a new structure for Disney, organized in three core business segments: Disney Entertainment, headed by co-chairs; ESPN, led by Jimmy Pitaro; Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, led by Josh D’Amaro.
For the last three months of 2022, Disney beat Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines. In the quarter, Disney+ registered its first-ever decline in subscribers — shedding 2.4 million — driven by losses at Disney+ Hotstar.
More to come.