Internal Memo Shows Disney to Cut Costs with Layoffs, Hiring Freeze

According to an internal memo Disney CEO Bob Chapek sent to employees following a disappointing quarter, the Walt Disney Co. is planning to freeze hiring and cut some jobs ahead of the winter holidays.

According to the reports, the company will prioritize cost-saving measures, including some staff reductions, in moving forward, Chapek said in the memo, noting he’s fully aware this will be a difficult process for many but that they’ll have to make tough and uncomfortable decisions as part of the leadership role.

The chief executive pointed out that the company will look at every avenue of operations and labor to find savings, but he expects some staff reductions as part of that review as well as limiting headcount additions through a targeted hiring freeze, focusing on acquiring new staff only where highly necessary.

Chapek said that the company will continue hiring for the small subset of the most critical, business-driving positions with all other roles to be put on hold, pointing toward segment leaders and HR teams as people with more specific details on how this will apply to particular teams.

After decreasing the number of employees yearly since 2018, Disney now has around 190,000 people working for the company.

The announced measures are the latest business indicator of demoralized investors’ future plans following the disappointing quarter which has seen the company’s shares fall to a 52-week low of just under $87 on Wednesday from $101 on Monday, though as of Friday evening they’ve rebounded to about $95.

Chapek also announced establishing a cost structure task force led by the CEO, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy, and General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez to further trim Disney’s expenses.

Just a few days ago, McCarthy first announced Disney’s intention to save money by making both short-term savings and long-term changes to drive longer-term structural benefits.

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