Report: Bob Chapek Announced Hiring Freeze at Disney

Disney Hiring Freeze

According to an in-office memo, The Walt Disney Company CEO, Bob Chapek, has announced a hiring freeze throughout the company.

Disney Insider Scott Gustin reports that the memo states that a “targeted hiring freeze” is now underway, with only “critical, business-driven positions” remaining open.

“While we will not sacrifice quality or the strength of our unrivaled synergy machine, we must ensure our investments are both efficient and come with tangible benefits to both audiences and the company,” he wrote.

Along with the hiring freeze, Chapek announced that the CFO Christine McCarthy would head “a cost structure taskforce,” saying,

“I am fully aware this will be a difficult process for many of you and your teams. We are going to have to make tough and uncomfortable decisions. But that is just what leadership requires, and I thank you in advance for stepping up during this important time.”


Related: OpEd: I Really hope Disney Plus is worth what it’s Costing

This announcement comes after Chapek announced that Disney Parks recorded record revenue, but the stock tanked to a new 52-week low, partially due to the immense costs being added up by the Direct-to-Consumer dealings.

It should be noted that this is a hiring freeze. Chapek said, “As we work through this evaluation process, we will look at every avenue of operations and labor to find savings, and we do anticipate some staff reductions as part of this review.”  But the announcement of a “cost structure taskforce” suggests that a round of layoffs to trim the fat could not be too far behind.

Chapek added,

“Third, we are reviewing our SG&A costs and have determined that there is room for improved efficiency—as well as an opportunity to transform the organization to be more nimble. The taskforce will drive this work in partnership with segment teams to achieve both savings and organizational enhancements. As we work through this evaluation process, we will look at every avenue of operations and labor to find savings, and we do anticipate some staff reductions as part of this review. In the immediate term, business travel should now be limited to essential trips only. In-person work sessions or offsites requiring travel will need advance approval and review from a member of your executive team (i.e., direct report of the segment chairman or corporate executive officer). As much as possible, these meetings should be conducted virtually. Attendance at conferences and other external events will also be restricted and require approvals from a member of your executive team.”

Click here to read the full memo. 

This news comes at a time when Disney Parks staff–particularly the attraction maintenance crew is extremely short-staffed and in desperate need of hiring. It is unclear at this time which divisions of the company will be affected positively or negatively in terms of hiring.

main street usa magic kingdom disney characters 50 anniversary

Mickey Mouse and other classic Disney characters donned special 50th anniversary attire for the Most Magical Celebration on Earth at Disney World. Photo Credit: Disney

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on this story and other Disney news as more developments come to light.

This is a developing story. 

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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