New York (CNN) Disney CEO Bob Iger said Monday that his company will begin laying off employees starting this week, the first of three rounds of expected cuts following his announcement in February that the company would cut 7,000 jobs.
The cuts to Disney’s global workforce are part of a multibillion-dollar cost-cutting initiative aimed at streamlining the company’s operations during a period of turmoil in the media industry.
In a memo to employees obtained by CNN, Iger said the layoffs would come in three waves. The first round starts this week, and managers will soon begin notifying affected employees. A second, larger round of layoffs will take place in April, Iger said, with several thousand employees let go. A third round of layoffs will then take place “before the beginning of the summer” to achieve the company’s planned goal of eliminating 7,000 jobs.
“The difficult reality of many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly,” Iger said in the note. “In tough moments, we must always do what it takes to ensure that Disney can continue to deliver exceptional entertainment to audiences and guests around the world — now, and well into the future.”
Disney ( had approx. 220,000 workers as of 1 October, of whom approx. 166,000 were employed in the USA. A cut of 7,000 jobs represents roughly 3% of the global workforce. )
The resignations follow Iger’s return to Disney in November after the company’s board fired Bob Chapek as chairman.