The Walt Disney Company faces an uneasy transition as they lay off thousands of employees this week while dealing with a tense dispute with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The Burbank-based entertainment giant has announced a targeted $5.5 billion cost savings plan, marking “the biggest shake-up since” former CEO Bob Iger returned in November, who announced the plan for 7,000 job eliminations at the start of the year.
After completing this round, they will have eliminated 4,000 jobs of their 7,000 job elimination target.
Evidently, the job has been cut across various business segments, including Mike Soltys, ESPN VP/Corporate Communications and the network’s second-longest tenured employee. Though the job cuts represent around three percent of Disney’s global workforce, the scope of the layoffs is unclear, as the entertainment corporation employs about 100,000 workers in the US.
Notably, Disney relies on special legal privileges it held for decades at the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which covers 40 square miles of land owned by the company, to “speak out against the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill” passed by DeSantis in March. This bill which bans classroom teaching on gender identity caused a deep and bitter argument between the two parties.
The job cuts are part of Iger’s plan to trim $3 billion from content and “the remaining $2.5 billion from non-content”. This new leadership in Disney has seen him appoint several creative executives – including Dana Walden and Alan Bergman – to bring authority back to the troubled corporation.
Disney is pushing to reach the target of job eliminations by the beginning of summer, and their efforts are clear. While difficult for those impacted, the company looks to turn around its problem for the better.