Three months after making a surprising return to Disney leadership, formerly retired Disney CEO Bob Iger on Wednesday announced a stunning $5.5 billion slash in the conglomerate's budget, which includes cutting 7,000 jobs or 3 percent of its workforce.
"I have enormous respect and appreciation for the dedication of our employees worldwide," Iger said during the announcement, which came during Disney's first-quarter earnings report. "While this is necessary to address the challenges we face today, I do not make this decision lightly," he added.
While Disney has 220,000 employees worldwide, the majority of the cuts will affect U.S. workers on the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED) team. The DMED team is responsible for the company's streaming services, including Disney+ which in November reported that the streaming service had lost a mind-bending $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter alone. The devastating loss as a result of the DMED team attempting to buy its way into streaming dominance was the catalyst for the termination of former CEO Bob Chapek and the return of then-retired CEO Bob Iger who had led Disney for 15 years prior.
Disney's layoffs are not an isolated event as competitors across the media industry, including Netflix, Paramount Global, and Warner Bros. Discovery have also had to cut employee numbers as rampant inflation has caused many in its consumer base to cut back on luxuries like streaming services in exchange for necessities.
In addition to the media industry's bloodbath and hemorrhaging of money for the streaming service, Disney experienced its worst year in almost five decades in 2022 when its stock plummeted 44 percent, another contributing factor to Chapek's demise.
As the company struggles to stay afloat, it has continued to embrace woke ideologies such as critical race theory and transgenderism as well as creating children's shows that push for reparations for slavery and claim that the U.S. was founded on "white supremacy" despite its falling stock and sorely low membership for its streaming service. Perhaps, Iger should consider changing the focus of the streaming service rather than removing the thousands of employees who run it.
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