If the high profile firings of Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon weren’t enough entertainment-related layoffs for you on a Monday morning, today also marks the kickoff of Disney’s latest round of mass firings, and it seems not even ESPN is safe.
Per the company’s previous announcement to cut 7,000 employees from its media empire, this week marks the second and most drastic round of cuts — with the number of layoffs to total 4,000 by the end of the week. A third and final round of cuts is expected before the beginning of summer.
This week’s layoffs will mostly target ESPN, Disney’s entertainment division, Disney Parks, and its Experiences and Product division. The overarching plan to reduce the Disney workforce was announced by chief executive Bob Iger in February, as part of a strategy to save $5.5 billion in costs.
In a memo to employees sent in late March, Iger explained the layoffs are “part of a strategic realignment of the company, including important cost-saving measures necessary for creating a more effective, coordinated and streamlined approach to our business.”
This week’s layoffs will affect workers all across the country, and are expected to take place Monday through Thursday. Once the company concludes its cut of 7,000 jobs by summer, it will total about 3% of its worldwide workforce. The cuts will drop Disney’s global total number of employees to around 213,000.
“The difficult reality of many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly,” Iger further noted in his memo. “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.”
The Disney layoffs were part of Bob Iger’s overall plan upon his return in November as chief executive of Disney after the board’s firing of Bob Chapek from that role.