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Nov 26, 2020

Disney cuts 4,000 more jobs, blaming virus hit to theme parks

Ross Healy discusses Disney

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Walt Disney Co. announced another 4,000 job cuts after virus lockdowns forced the closing of its theme parks.

It takes the number of layoffs in the first half of fiscal 2021, mostly at Disney’s parks, experiences and products divisions, to 32,000 -- more than 1/10 of its total workforce. The company’s parks in California remain closed due to a standoff with the state over lockdown measures.

Results earlier this month revealed how the coronavirus pandemic has hammered Disney’s traditional businesses like studios, parks and cruises while accelerating a pivot to streaming. The theme parks showed a loss of US$1.1 billion in quarterly results this month, made up for by surging growth in its on-demand video platform Disney+, which smashed subscriber number estimates.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, who took over from long-time chief Bob Iger in February, shook up the company’s management structure last month to further emphasize streaming. With movie theaters still closed, Disney released its remake of “Mulan” on Disney+.

Disney shares are up 3.1 per cent this year through Wednesday’s close.