Disney continues its restructuring efforts by cutting more jobs

Disney has initiated a second wave of layoffs as part of its previously announced restructuring plan that is estimated to cause a total of 7,000 job losses.

The company has been facing challenges as its conventional television and movie business diminishes while its streaming division continues to incur significant losses. The CEO, Bob Iger, had unveiled the cost-saving strategy worth $5.5bn in February.

The current job cuts are projected to result in a total of 4,000 job reductions, impacting various sections of the company, such as ESPN and the film studios. Nevertheless, the company has stated that front-line employees at the theme park will not be affected.

“The difficult reality of many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly,” Disney officials said.

As the entertainment industry refocuses on profits after years of investing heavily in launching streaming platforms and gaining subscribers, Disney’s recent layoffs reflect a larger trend.

CEO Bob Iger, who returned to the company last November, has emphasized the need to streamline Disney’s business, with a $5.5bn cost-cutting drive announced in February. As part of this restructuring, the company plans to spend $3bn less on content.

The initial 7,000 redundancies, announced in February, account for around 3% of the 220,000-strong workforce. The company began its job cuts last month and is set to notify “several thousand” more this week, with a third round of cuts planned for the summer.

The layoffs are spread across the company, including at sports channel ESPN and film studios, but frontline park workers are not expected to be affected.

One of those losing their job this week was ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys, who had worked for the company for over 40 years.

“My final statement as ESPN Spokesperson: ’43 Amazing Years. Wow. We wish him well.'” Mr Soltys joked on Twitter.

Disney, which employs more than 50,000 people outside the US, did not respond to an inquiry about how many of the job cuts would involve international staff.