Disney to Lay Off 150 in Film Division

Robert Iger
Robert Iger
 Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The Disney film unit will lay off about 150 people, with notifications expected as early as Wednesday, insiders confirmed Monday.

The layoffs will come from home entertainment, marketing, animation and music, all from Disney’s “studio entertainment” segment.

Other layoffs -- though it’s not clear how many -- will hit the conglomerate’s “consumer products” segment.

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Word of the impending layoffs, which first surfaced last week, come despite strong financials for Disney, which recorded $5.7 billion in profit in fiscal 2012, up 18 percent year-over-year. And on Monday, Disney’s stock closed at an all-time high, up 2 percent to $58.82, giving the company a market capitalization of $106.2 billion.

Even the two units that will be hit with layoffs delivered growth in the most recent fiscal year, with studio entertainment scoring $722 million in operating income, up 17 percent, while consumer products hauled in $937 million in operating income, up 15 percent.

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CEO Robert Iger, though, is said to have ordered up ways to counter the effects on the conglomerate's businesses that have come as a result of rapidly changing technologies. In particular, digital streaming has cut into sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs and has required a shift in strategy, and layoffs are an unfortunate part of the equation, several insiders have said.

In September, the company also laid off about 100 employees at its money-losing Disney Interactive segment, and in January it shut down Junction Point Studios, which made the Epic Mickey video game.

Disney has also been laying off workers at Lucasfilm since acquiring that asset, most recently by reconfiguring video-game studio LucasArts, turning it into a licensor of intellectual property. The move cost about 150 people their jobs.

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