Bob Chapek reports CEO target Bob Chapek

Disney Plans Layoffs, “Rigorous Review” Of Spending & Hiring Freeze; “Tough & Uncomfortable Decisions” Coming, CEO Bob Chapek Tells Staff

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Reeling from a roller coaster stock market and earnings misses, the Walt Disney Company is about to start cutting spending, costs, and staff, CEO Bob Chapek said today. “I am fully aware this will be a difficult process for many of you and your teams,” Chapek wrote to Disney employees this Veterans’ Day as the House of Mouse heads into its 100th anniversary. “We are going to have to make tough and uncomfortable decisions,” he assed in the memo. “But that is just what leadership requires, and I thank you in advance for stepping up during this important time.” (Read the full memo below) Like its media peers, the approximately 190,000-employee strong Disney has felt the pain in 2022, with its stock down more than 40% and inflation, foreign currency fluctuation and the bruising streaming competition applying pressure to its operations.

Earlier this week, the company reported quarterly earnings below Wall Street earnings expectations and also issued strikingly soft guidance for fiscal 2023 revenue and profit, further unnerving investors.

Pay-TV losses have hurt Disney, though the company has vowed to turn a profit in streaming by the end of fiscal 2024. Its austerity move and hiring freeze follow a series of reorganizations after it acquired most of 21st Century Fox in an industry-changing, $71.3 billion deal in 2019.

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