TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Walt Disney Company is planning on implementing a hiring freeze and laying off some of its 190,000 employees, according to an internal memo obtained by CNBC.
CEO Bob Chapek sent the memo to Disney executives on Friday after the company’s stock plummeted to a 52-week low earlier this week. Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy hinted at cost-cutting measures in a quarterly earnings call on Tuesday.
“We are limiting headcount additions through a targeted hiring freeze,” Chapek wrote in the memo. “Hiring for the small subset of the most critical, business-driving positions will continue, but all other roles are on hold.”
Disney will implement a “cost structure taskforce”, Chapek said. The taskforce will include McCarthy and General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez.
Chapek also said the company is expecting to lay off some workers.
“As we work through this evaluation process, we will look at every avenue of operations and labor to find savings, and we do anticipate some staff reductions as part of this review,” Chapek wrote.
At the beginning of the memo, Chapek said making Disney+ profitable is an “important goal”. CNBC reported that Disney’s streaming services (including Hulu and ESPN+) lost $1.47 billion last quarter, more than double the loss from the previous year.
CNBC said McCarthy promised during the earnings call that losses will improve in next year, while Chapek has claimed streaming will be profitable by the end of 2024.
“I am fully aware this will be a difficult process for many of you and your teams. We are going to have to make tough and uncomfortable decisions. But that is just what leadership requires, and I thank you in advance for stepping up during this important time,” Chapek told executives.