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Disney Announces Its Largest Wave of Layoffs Amid Pandemic

Written by on April 24, 2023

Disney has announced its largest wave of layoffs affecting several thousand workers across the company. The media giant is set to cut its workforce by 7,000 employees as part of its cost-saving plan aimed at saving $5.5 billion. This week’s job cuts will impact ESPN, Disney’s entertainment division, Disney Parks, and its Experiences and Product division.

The pandemic has hit the entertainment industry hard, leading to a drop in revenue for Disney. The company had suspended its dividend payments during the pandemic, but chief executive Bob Iger announced in February that he expects them to return.

This latest round of layoffs will take place Monday through Thursday and is expected to affect employees from coast to coast. This comes after an initial wave of job cuts last month, and the total number of jobs lost across the company will now reach 4,000. However, hourly frontline employees at Disney’s theme parks and resorts are not expected to be affected.

A third and final wave of layoffs is expected to reach the 7,000 total before the beginning of summer, according to the company. Disney had about 220,000 workers as of October 1, 2020, of which approximately 166,000 were employed in the United States. A cut of 7,000 jobs represents about 3% of its global workforce.

In a memo to staff last month, Bob Iger acknowledged the difficulty of the situation, saying, “The difficult reality of many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly. In tough moments, we must always do what is required to ensure Disney can continue delivering exceptional entertainment to audiences and guests around the world – now, and long into the future.”

As the pandemic continues to impact businesses worldwide, many companies are being forced to make tough decisions to survive. Disney is just one of many in the entertainment industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the layoffs are a reminder of the harsh reality facing workers in the industry.


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