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Disney begins large wave of layoffs

Disney anticipates a third round of layoffs starting before the beginning of the summer in order to hit its goal of cutting 7,000 jobs.

WASHINGTON — The Walt Disney Co. will be laying off several thousand employees this week, a second round of cuts that's part of a previously announced plan to eliminate 7,000 jobs this year.

The latest employee releases will take place Monday through Thursday, according to Disney officials. The company will have reached approximately 4,000 job cuts when factoring in both the first and second rounds of layoffs.

The job eliminations are taking place across various business segments, including entertainment, ESPN, parks, experiences and products. The cuts are also occurring in various locations, including Burbank, California, New York and Connecticut. The company previously said that it doesn't expect the job cuts to impact hourly frontline operations roles at its parks and resorts.

ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said in a company memo sent to employees that those affected will hear from their supervisor and someone from human relations this week.

“As we advance as a core segment of Disney, with operational control and financial responsibility, we must further identify ways to be efficient and nimble,” Pitaro said in the memo. “We will continue to focus our workforce on initiatives that are most closely aligned with our critical priorities and emphasize decision-making and responsibility deeper into the organization.”

ESPN was not part of the first phase of Disney reductions last month. Besides this week's layoffs, another round of job cuts will take place by the start of summer. Both phases impact off-air employees.

A round of cuts involving on-air talent will happen over the summer via contracts not being renewed, buyouts or cuts. It is not expected to resemble what happened in April of 2017, when reporters and hosts were informed at one time.

Among the known job cuts from Monday is vice president of communications Mike Soltys, who has been with the company 43 years. Soltys confirmed his departure via social media.

Disney anticipates a third round of job cuts starting before the beginning of the summer in order to hit the 7,000 eliminations target.

Disney CEO Bob Iger had announced in February that the company was going to cut about 7,000 jobs as part of an ambitious companywide cost-savings plan and “strategic reorganization.” The job cuts amount to about 3% of the entertainment giant’s global workforce.

Disney has said that the job reductions are part of a targeted $5.5 billion cost savings across the Burbank-based company.

Shares of Disney dipped slightly in midday trading on Monday.

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