Disney Laying Off 7,000 Employees, or 3% of Workforce, Eyes $5.5 Billion in Total Cost Reductions

Disney layoffs
Michael Buckner/Variety

Bob Iger is back as Disney’s CEO — and swinging the axe.

Disney will reduce its workforce by 7,000 employees in a bid to cut costs, Iger said Wednesday on the company’s earnings call for the year-end 2022 quarter. The figure represents 3.2% of Disney’s total headcount of about 220,000 worldwide as of Oct. 1, 2022.

The layoffs are part of Disney’s efforts to achieve about $5.5 billion in cost savings. Of that, $2.5 billion represents “non-content costs” and $1 billion of those targeted cost-reductions are already underway, Iger said. In addition, Disney is aiming for an annualized reduction of $3 billion in non-sports content costs, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy told analysts.

Iger said he did not take the decision to cut jobs lightly. “I have enormous respect and appreciation for the dedication of our employees worldwide,” he said.

The announcement of the job cuts came as Iger also announced a new operating structure for Disney, organized in three core business segments: Disney Entertainment, headed by co-chairs Dana Walden and Alan Bergman; ESPN, led by Jimmy Pitaro; Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, led by Josh D’Amaro.

For the December 2022 quarter, Disney beat Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines. In the period, Disney+ registered its first-ever decline in subscribers — shedding 2.4 million — driven by losses at Disney+ Hotstar.

More to come.

From Variety US