Disney to cut 7,000 jobs amid plans for ‘significant transformation’

The company said Disney+ ended the quarter with 161.8 million subscribers

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue
Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue

The Walt Disney Co has said it will cut about 7,000 jobs as part of a “significant transformation” announced by CEO Bob Iger.

The job cuts amount to about 3% of the entertainment giant’s global workforce and were announced after Disney reported quarterly results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts.

Mr Iger returned as CEO in November following a challenging two-year tenure by his handpicked successor, Bob Chapek.

The company said the job reductions are part of targeted 5.5 billion US dollar cost savings across the company.

Disney CEO Bob Iger
Disney CEO Bob Iger (PA)

As of October 1, Disney employed 220,000 people, of which about 166,000 worked in the US and 54,000 internationally.

In its latest results, solid growth at Disney’s theme parks helped offset tepid performance in its video streaming and movie business.

Disney said that it earned 1.28 billion US dollars, or 70 cents per share, in the three months through to December 31. That compares with net income of 1.1 billion US dollars, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Disney earned 99 cents per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue grew 8% to 23.51 billion dollars from 21.82 billion dollars a year earlier. Analysts were expecting revenue of 23.44 billion dollars.

In a statement, Mr Iger said the company is embarking on a “significant transformation” that management believes will lead to improved profitability at the company’s streaming business.

The company said Disney+ ended the quarter with 161.8 million subscribers, down 1% from October 1.

Hulu and ESPN+ each posted a 2% increase in paid subscribers during the quarter.

Shares in Disney rose 3% in after-hours trading.

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