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Disney announces 7,000 job cuts as part of $5.5 billion cost-cutting move

PHOTO: Disney+ Booth And Signage D23 Expo, Photo Date: 8/23/2019
Anthony Quintano / CC BY 2.0
PHOTO: Disney+ Booth And Signage D23 Expo, Photo Date: 8/23/2019

The Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. will slash 7,000 jobs as part of a $5.5 billion cost-cutting effort, CEO Bob Iger announced today. The possibility of layoffs at Disney has been rumored for weeks, with Iger regaining his footing in the CEO's office following the surprise ouster of CEO Bob Chapek in November.   

Iger broke the news during an earnings call Wednesday afternoon, following the release of the company's first-quarter earnings report.   

Iger said he is targeting $5.5 billion in cost savings "across the company."

"To help achieve this we will be reducing our workforce by approximately 7,000 jobs,'' he said. ``While this is necessary to address the challenges we are facing today, I do not make this decision lightly. I have enormous respect and appreciation for the talent and dedication of our employees worldwide and (am) mindful of the personal impact of these changes."  

No details were immediately released on where the layoffs would be made, or how quickly.

Iger said the company's organizational structure was being changed, with the company being divided into a trio of divisions -- Disney Entertainment; ESPN; and Parks, Experiences and Products.

The move is an undoing of the changes that Chapek instituted when he took over the company three years ago.   

Iger said the restructuring will return "greater authority to our creative leaders" while also making them ``accountable for how their content performs financially."  

"Our former structure severed that link and must be restored," he said. "Moving forward, our creative teams will determine what content we're making, how it is distributed and monetized and how it gets marketed."

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