The Walt Disney Company has started its mass layoffs as part of its cost-saving plan announced by CEO Bob Iger earlier this year. The company aims to save $5.5 billion in costs and make its streaming business profitable.
Disney has laid off its entire metaverse team, a group of around 50 employees responsible for next-generation storytelling. The head of the team, Mike White, was excluded from the layoffs, according to The Wall Street Journal. The layoff has impacted Disney Entertainment, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and corporate. ESPN could be next on the layoffs list.
According to Disney, they intended to reduce $2.5 billion in sales, general administrative expenses, and other operating costs, with another $3 billion in savings from cutting down non-sports content, which includes the layoffs.
As subscriber growth slows down and streaming competition intensifies, Disney joins other media companies in cutting jobs. This comes as part of a global trend in which technology giants, including Google, Amazon, Meta, Twitter, Microsoft, Accenture, and Goldman Sachs, have either laid off employees or frozen hiring due to sluggish consumer spending, rising interest rates, and surging inflation, resulting in tens of thousands of people losing their jobs in recent months worldwide.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to substantial economic disturbance globally, causing many businesses to struggle to maintain their operations. Among the sectors hit hardest by this situation is the entertainment industry, as people have been cutting back on non-essential purchases. In this challenging economic environment, Disney is implementing cost-cutting measures to remain competitive in the streaming market.