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Disney Eyeing Layoffs at Studio, Consumer Products, Animation

5 Apr, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Walt Disney Co. reportedly will begin implementing layoffs in the coming weeks at its consumer products, animation and studio divisions, including home entertainment and marketing.

The undisclosed cuts are part of ongoing internal reorganization at Disney operating units mandated last year by CEO Bob Iger and CFO Jay Rasulo, according to Reuters, which cited sources familiar with the situation.

A Disney spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Disney consumer products, which is headed by Bob Chapek — former president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment — has restructured to emulate the company’s overall focus on franchise themes, Rasulo told an investor group late last year.

The unit is responsible for licensing the company’s brands (including Mickey and Minnie Mouse) at retail, including gifts, toys, movie discs, apparel, publishing and English-speaking ventures in China, as well as overseeing Disney Stores in the United States, Japan and Europe.

Consumer products reported an 11% increase in operating income to $346 million during Disney's most recent fiscal period.

Separately, Disney earlier this week said it would shutter LucasArts, the 30-year-old video game publishing unit of Lucasfilm and creator of the Star Wars 1313 game, reportedly affecting 150 jobs. Disney assumed control of LucasArts last year with the $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm from George Lucas.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Studios saw a 43% decline in operating income to $234 million in the first quarter (ended Dec. 31).

Notable factors for the decline were decreases in home entertainment and theatrical revenue, partially offset by subscription video-on-demand distribution revenue, including its recent license deal with Netflix.

Disney reports second-quarter (ended March 31) results May 7.


About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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