Disney’s CEO Bob Iger Smug Over Layoffs, Exceeding Savings Goal

Bob Iger
Credit: Variety

When you think of working at Disney, you would expect magic, to say the least. But it seems like magic is less than prevalent with recent remarks and now results. The Walt Disney Company released its third-quarter earnings today, August 9. With the release comes plenty of numbers and direct quotes from Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger.

Bob Iger stepped back in as Disney’s CEO in November 2022 when the previous CEO, Bob Chapeak, was ousted. Since his return, Iger has wasted no time getting to work. So much so that he extended his contract with Disney for two more years, leading him into 2026 still as the CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

Ahead of the company’s third-quarter results, Disney has been fighting battles seemingly through all avenues of the company. An issue they have recently been facing is the actor’s strike in Hollywood. One of Disney’s newest films, Haunted Mansion (2023), was released during the strike, meaning actors could not participate in any film promotion. Some speculate that it could be a direct effect of the film’s box office sales with the strike still in place. In addition, Iger wasn’t shy about sharing his opinions on the strike. “He called the demands of the Actors Guild of America “unreasonable” and their strike “unfortunate”,” Disney Fanatic wrote.

Bob Iger

Credit: CNBC

Disney Set to Exceed Goal Savings

With the third-quarter earnings release, it seems that Iger’s efforts may have helped The Walt Disney Company more than he anticipated. The Hollywood Reporter detailed, “The Disney CEO says that the company is now set to exceed its initial goal of $5.5 billion in cost savings. What’s more is that much of the cut costs were results of the 7,000 layoffs Disney employees endured. As many can remember, the 7,000 layoffs came quickly and affected many. Although employees were told ESPN would not be affected, we soon saw television personalities, along with long-standing employees of the company, let go.

As Deadline reported, “The company swung to a net loss of $490 million for its fiscal fourth quarter from a $4.1 billion profit the year before.” The official stats for all parts of the company are as follows,

  •  Disney+ had 146.1 million total global paid subscribers at the end of June, down from last quarter.
  • ESPN+ subs were about flat at 25.2 million.
  • Hulu’s 44 million SVOD subs were up from 43.7 million.
  • Live TV+ SVOD was 4.3 million, for a 48.3M total Hulu.
  • At linear networks (U.S. and global), profit fell 23% to $1.9 billion on sales of $6.69 billion, down 7%.
The Walt Disney Company

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Numbers speak for themselves, but CEO Bob Iger chimed in with his opinion on the results. The company exceeded its savings goal of $5.5 billion, which Iger said,

“In the eight months since my return, these important changes are creating a more cost effective, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our operations that has put us on track to exceed our initial goal of $5.5 billion in savings as well as improved our direct-to-consumer operating income by roughly $1 billion in just three quarters,” Iger said in a statement. “While there is still more to do, I’m incredibly confident in Disney’s long-term trajectory because of the work we’ve done, the team we now have in place, and because of Disney’s core foundation of creative excellence and popular brands and franchises.”

With The Walt Disney Company saving money and exceeding its goal, from a business standpoint, it seems efficient. Furthermore, it seems that Iger’s efforts were savvy enough to assist with the issues at hand. But what about the thousands of employees who were negatively impacted during this transformational stage? Sure $210 million was in severance costs, as Disney reported. But is the company or, furthermore, the CEO boasting about the layoffs with savings?

bob-iger ceo disney

Credit: Disney

The question then stands is it a celebration when so many employees were affected?

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.