Disney is in the process of laying off around 150 employees at Walt Disney Studios today (March 10). Variety reports that employees began receiving pink slips on Wednesday morning. The layoffs hit the home entertainment, production, distribution and marketing, and music and theater division in New York City, with only a small number of employees leaving their posts in animation.
“As part of an ongoing review to ensure that the studios’ operational structure and economics align with the demands of the current marketplace, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our staffing levels in several divisions of the studio,” a spokesman said early Wednesday.
Disney will rely more heavily on films that come from its Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm banners, as well as DreamWorks to fill its distribution pipeline. The top execs also recently wrapped a company-wide review process that tasked each division with ensuring that staff levels are in line with the company’s needs in a changing marketplace, particularly in divisions affected by shifts in new media and digital distribution platforms. The internal audit was ordered late last year by Disney chief executive Bob Iger and chief financial officer Jay Rasulo to identify areas of redundancy.
Ironically, Disney’s stock was up $0.69 to $59.83 on Wednesday as the layoffs were under way.