At the Mouse House world headquarters in Burbank, rumors have been ciruclating of coming layoffs and now the shoe appears to have dropped. Chief Executive mouse Bob Iger ordered an audit of the company and found it a bit puffy around the top & middle. The study looked for positions that had been made redundant by advances in technology and at the result of the string of recent acquisitions. Not surprisingly, there are a few.
Front-line employees at the parks needn’t worry, most cuts are expected to come from management levels of the studios and consumer products division (in the marketing and home video divisions particuarly). We hear that some cuts will be felt across nearly every division (although some of this will come from elimination of open positions). Rumors are Iger wants to reduce the size of the company’s management force by 10%.
Also in the news are recent cuts to the interactive video game division of Lucasfilms, LucasArts. It will no longer produce in-house games as Disney imposes their policy of using third-party development where possible and has thus been closed.
While the economy has been improving as of late, it’s still not an ideal time to be suddenly unemployed. We wish all the affect employees best of luck in their job search.
Disney has a tradition of tightening its belt just before it forecasts a period of growth. With its recent acquisitions, multiple tentpole films and animated features in development, plus the changes coming to Walt Disney World I believe the Walt Disney Company will emerge a healthier operation poised to ride the ever quickening pace of change we see in the world of technology and entertainment.