On February 8, The Walt Disney Company held its quarterly earnings call — the first since Bob Iger returned as CEO. During the call, Iger made the announcement that — in the coming months — the company would be laying off a whopping 7,000 employees. The layoffs come as Disney looks for ways to cut $5.5 billion. The layoffs would unlikely affect Cast Members who work in the theme parks. Most of them would most likely come from those who work on the lot in Burbank, with Disney+ streaming possibly taking one of the bigger hits.
While Iger announced the layoffs, not much was given in the way of a timeline. The layoffs were coming, but when they were coming was still up in the air. But now it looks like we may have an answer. According to trusted sources who spoke to Deadline Hollywood, a lot of the layoffs are expected to come before April 3. On April 3, Disney will hold its Annual Shareholders meeting, and Iger will be able to tell them that the company is making good on its promise to cut costs.
Here is more from Deadline Hollywood:
Insiders tell Deadline that multiple rounds of cuts are being prepared. The first one is being targeted for next week, we hear. (March 30 or March 31 have been floated as possible dates, but that has not been confirmed.) According to sources, there will be a big wave in late April, described as “the big one” or a “bloodbath,” when a large portion of the cuts are expected to come.
Information varies on a potential third round of layoffs. Some say it might come between the one in late March and the one in late April, while others note that it could follow the one in late April if it’s deemed necessary. Disney declined to comment.
Disney has had to deal with a lot of criticism since the massive layoffs were announced. While 7,000 is a high number, it is only about 35 of the company’s global workforce. However, many were not happy to hear that Disney was laying off so many people after learning that fired CEO Bob Chapek would be walking away with more than $20 million after doing a subpar job.
Just last week, it was reported that Disney executives were being instructed to make lists of “layoff candidates”. It is also expected that only 4,000 of the layoffs will come from people currently employed by the company. The other 3,000 layoffs will come in the form of cutting positions that the company had been looking to fill.