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Warner Layoffs Begin

4 Nov, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In details-lite memo to staff, CEO Kevin Tsujihara reiterates “difficult decisions” reducing head count

Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara Nov. 4 reportedly issued a memo to studio employees notifying them that previously announced staffing cuts are now underway following a company-wide review.

Warner, which is coming off a lackluster box office summer that affected most studios, is expected to cut 10% of its global workforce of 9,000 people following a lackluster box office and pressure from Wall Street after parent Time Warner earlier this year rejected an $80 billion acquisition offer from 21st Century Fox, parent of 20th Century Fox Studios and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The cuts are slated to be across the studio, including home entertainment.

“Most business groups will be announcing staff changes this week, beginning today. However, some groups, including finance, MIS and technical operations, have been engaged in more-complex reorganizations; they will make some staff changes now, with most coming in the first quarter of next year. Similarly, international territories will proceed according to local policies and protocol, and most of their changes will be announced in the early part of next year,” Tsujihara wrote in the memo, as first reported by Deadline.com.

Last month, Tsujihara, who formerly headed Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, told an investor group the studio’s retail entertainment business is returning to growth, with sales of new-release digital movies up more than 150% compared with the prior-year period.

“As the market changes, we are diligently managing our costs. As a result, we expect our home entertainment profits to grow in the coming years,” he said on Oct. 17.

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