Exclusive: Disney to begin layoffs in studio, consumer products - sources

LOS ANGELES Thu Apr 4, 2013 9:58pm EDT

A part of the signage at the main gate of The Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank, California, May 7, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

A part of the signage at the main gate of The Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank, California, May 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co expects to begin layoffs at its studio and consumer product divisions within the next two weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, in the latest cost-reduction step to emerge from a company-wide review.

The studio job cuts will center on the marketing and home video units and include a small number from the animation wing, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans had not been made public.

It is unknown how many jobs will be lost at either division.

Staff reductions at the consumer products unit will largely result from attrition, another person said.

On Wednesday, Disney began layoffs at the 30-year-old LucasArts games studio it inherited with the acquisition of George Lucas' film company last year, as it focuses on licensing its "Star Wars" brand externally.

A Disney spokeswoman had no comment.

Disney, headquartered in Burbank, California, started an internal cost-cutting review late last year to identify cutbacks in jobs it no longer needs because of improvements in technology, one of the people said.

It is also looking at redundant operations that could be eliminated following a string of major acquisitions over the past few years, said the person.

Disney cut about 200 people at its Disney Interactive video game last year, as the company moved away from console games to focus on online and mobile entertainment. An additional 100 staffers have been laid off in two cuts since.

The company also made cuts at the publishing unit last year when Disney moved its operations to Burbank from New York as part of a restructuring of its consumer products unit.

(Reporting by Ronald Grover; Editing by Edwin Chan, Ryan Woo and Peter Cooney)

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Comments (9)
kasieki73 wrote:
And I bet all those employees were so excited to be part of Disney too. I don’t think anyone can promise job security at anytime, especially with a merger. They hopefully saw this coming and are ready for it. Even then the transition is more involved then you think. I lost my job to bankruptcy and it was hard. Good luck to all of them.

Apr 04, 2013 10:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
murray_mg wrote:
Maybe they could try saving money and jobs by not producing $200 million flops like John Carter. What did they actually spend the money on in that film anyway? No big-name stars, cgi animation that was not any more extraordinary than any other movie, what was it, where did the money go? What are they spending on Avengers 2 and where does it go and why?

Apr 04, 2013 10:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DeSwiss wrote:
Didn’t Disney realize that the Empire loses in the end? Duh. :-/

Apr 04, 2013 12:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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