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Walt Disney To Terminate 32,000 Positions, Mostly In Parks, By March; Includes 28,000 Previously Announced

Jill Goldsmith
·2-min read

Walt Disney said Wednesday a total of 32,000 employees, mainly in its Parks, Experiences and Resorts division — including 28,000 already announced — will be terminated in the first half of its fiscal 2021, meaning by March.

The entertainment giant previously unveiled in September the 28,000 staff cuts at parks, which have been shuttered by the pandemic and only reopened at reduced capacity if at all. Disneyland in fact has not yet reopened. A pre-Thanksgiving SEC filing put a timeframe on the reductions. Disney, like companies across the entertainment industry, has seen layoffs at other divisions as well but nothing of the magnitude of parks.

The SEC filing followed by several weeks the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year results released Nov. 12. It said Disney employed approximately 203,000 people as of October 3, about 80% full time and 20% part time, with nearly 1% of the part time population being seasonal employees. Of the total, approximately 155,000 worked in the Parks, Experiences and Products segment. The filing, called a 10K, is a more detailed annual financial summary of the year just past.

The earnings report noted the parks division took a $2.4 billion “adverse impact” in the fiscal fourth quarter ended in September and a $6.9 billion hit for the full fiscal year on Covid-19 closures or reduced operating capacities. The filing, called a 10K, is a more detailed annual financial summary.

“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the Company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force. As part of these actions, the employment of approximately 32,000 employees primarily at Parks, Experiences and Products will terminate in the first half of fiscal 2021,” the filing said.

As of October 3, Disney also noted, “approximately 37,000 employees who are not scheduled for employment termination were on furlough as a result of COVID-19’s impact on our businesses.”

Parks have been among the very hardest hit entertainment segment in the pandemic era along with movie theaters and live events. Parks have traditionally made up about a third of Disney’s revenue. The division saw sales fall 61% in the fourth quarter from the year earlier with Disney World in Orlando and Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland open.

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