Disney Begins Round Of Layoffs Outside The U.S.

EXCLUSIVE: The layoffs impacting thousands of Disney staff in the U.S. have spread to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

While the exact number is unknown, Deadline understands that circa-100 staff were informed earlier this week that their jobs are at risk of redundancy and have begun consultations. The staff are based in London and across the EMEA region. We understand the figure potentially impacted is proportionate to the staff layoffs in the U.S.

Sources indicate those most at risk are mainly in the marketing and press departments, along with back office such as talent acquisition, engineering, and IT. The Disney+ commissioning and production team are understood to be safe from the cuts for the time being, and they are seen as an important plank in Disney’s future strategy.

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The cuts have long been anticipated. In April, Deadline reported that Disney’s international teams were braced for layoffs and content cuts. Non-U.S. staff had been particularly concerned by the departure of Rebecca Campbell, the Chairman of International Operations, whose exit was announced a day after Disney chief Bob Iger’s proposed layoffs first emerged in February and whose role was not replaced.

The Mouse House has approximately 5,000 staff outside the U.S., with around 40% based in Hammersmith, West London, and others stationed across Europe and Asia. Disney+’s content team is based in the English capital and reports to Diego Londono, the organization’s EVP, Media Networks and Content. There are also boots on the ground in key territories such as France and Germany.

Several sources alerted Deadline to the EMEA cuts on Wednesday, while some Disney staff posted on LinkedIn.

In the U.S., a third round of the planned 7,000 layoffs also started earlier this week. These cuts are estimated to affect more than 2,500 jobs across the board at the company, we’ve been told. While Parks and Resorts remains mainly untouched, the employee pink-slipping hasn’t been aimed at any particular division. The TV division, which was hit hard in the second round, has been largely spared this time around, Deadline understands.

The news has come at a difficult time for the major streamers and studios, which have been heavily impacted by the economic slowdown, poor ad market and ongoing writers strike.

Disney declined to comment on the international layoffs.

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