Disney Planning Layoffs (Report)
The Walt Disney Co. will lay off workers at its film studio and its consumer products division within two weeks in an effort to cut costs, Reuters reported late Thursday.
The layoffs will come primarily from the marketing and home video units at the studio, with a smaller number coming from animation, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources.
The layoffs are a result of an internal audit ordered by CEO Bob Iger, who is seeking cost-saving measures in order to boost profits.
The report did not say how many jobs are threatened.
Disney also has been laying off workers at Lucasfilm since acquiring it in December. On Wednesday, it in effect shut down LucasArts and laid off 150 people, saying the video-game developer will move to a licensing model.
The cost-saving measures come despite stellar financial performance as of late.
“After delivering another record year of growth in 2012, we're off to a solid start in fiscal 2013,” Iger said in February. “Our ongoing success is driven by our long-term strategy, the strength of our brands and businesses and our high-quality family entertainment.”
As for the two segments where layoffs are expected, consumer products saw operating income grow 11 percent in the most recent quarter, but the studio experienced a 43 percent fall, with much of the decline blamed on weakness in home entertainment.
In fiscal 2012, which ran from Oct. 2, 2011, to Sept. 29, 2012, Disney shares rose 76 percent. At the company's shareholders meeting last month, Iger even boasted of Disney stock closing at an all-time high the previous day. "Timing is everything," he said then.
Disney did not immediately respond to request for comment.