Multiple Executives Lose Jobs as Layoffs Begin at Disney

Well, we knew they were coming, and now they are here. Nearly two months ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger and CFO Christine McCarthy held Disney’s quarterly earnings call. During the call, Iger and McCarthy made it clear that one of the things they were going to focus on was budget cuts. The goal? To save the company nearly $5.5 billion. Some of those budget cuts would come in the form of layoffs. Iger said that nearly 4,000 Disney Cast Members would be laid off, and another 3,000 open positions would remain unfilled.

Bob Iger


At the time news of the layoffs was announced, Iger gave no further details as to when the layoffs would come. Then, last week, multiple outlets reported that some people would lose their jobs before Disney’s April 3 Shareholders meeting. On Monday, March 27, Iger sent out a company-wide memo, letting them know that layoffs would be coming in three waves. Once now, again in April, and then, for the final time, over the summer.

Now, we can confirm that layoffs are here, and there are a number of executives who no longer have jobs at Disney.

The Walt Disney Company

Credit: Disney

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to sources close to the matter, who informed them of the following.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Monday’s layoffs focused production and acquisitions. Among the notable staffers let go Monday are Jayne Bieber, senior vp production at Freeform/Onyx Collective; Mark Levenstein, head of production and postproduction at Hulu; and Elizabeth Newman, head of Disney’s acquisitions department.

Sources note Newman’s entire acquisitions team has been dissolved, while Bieber and Levenstein’s production teams will be folded under Carol Turner, exec vp production at ABC Signature. That team will continue to report to Eric Schrier, whom Dana Walden promoted late last year to president of Disney Television Studios and business operations at Disney General Entertainment.

Dana Walden

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

At this time, we don’t know how many people were laid off. We also don’t know if these are the only layoffs that will happen this week, or if more employees will lose their jobs as the week goes on. It is expected that, at some point, streaming will possibly see a big hit. Disney+ launched in 2019, with the realistic goal of becoming profitable by 2024. While Disney+ is still on track to become profitable by then, it is hemorrhaging money. So, while Disney won’t shutter Disney+, it will most likely cut to just essential positions.

Disney Plus

Credit: Disney

While not much is known in terms of where the majority of the layoffs will come from, we do know that it will not be on the theme park Cast Member level. Disney is typically always looking to hire people to work in its theme parks. The layoffs will mainly focus on those who work at Disney’s studio lot in Burbank.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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