San Francisco: Entertainment giant Disney said it was laying off 7,000 employees, in CEO Bob Iger’s first major decision since he was asked back to lead the company late last year.
The layoffs follow similar moves by the US tech giants that have laid off thousands of workers as the economy sours and companies dial back a hiring spurt that began during the height of the pandemic.
“I do not make this decision lightly. I have enormous respect and appreciation for the talent and dedication of our employees worldwide,” Iger said on a call to analysts after Disney posted its latest quarterly earnings.
According to its 2021 annual report, the group employed 190,000 people worldwide as of October 2 of that year, 80 percent of whom were full-time.
The storied company founded by Walt Disney also said its streaming service saw it’s first ever fall in subscribers last quarter as consumers cut back on spending.
Subscribers to Disney+, the streaming archrival to Netflix, fell one percent to 168.1 million customers on December 31, compared to three months earlier.
Analysts had broadly expected the decline, and the Disney share price remained was eight percent higher in post-session trading.
Investors were reassured by Disney’s lower-than-expected operating losses for its streaming platforms at $1 billion for the October to December period.
Across its vast entertainment empire, the Disney Group saw revenues of $23.5 billion for the three month period, better than analysts had hoped.
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