The ink has yet to fully dry, but the Walt Disney Company is already making big changes to their new assets after acquiring many of the content producers making up 21st Century Fox. Industry analysts expected many layoffs to affect the Fox brand, and now we know some of the executives being affected by this massive deal.
According to a report from the Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox's president of distribution Chris Aronson was given a 60 day notice, letting him know he would not be employed by Disney once the dust settles. Aronson is one of the highest profile executives being let go this early, but it provides a clear idea of how Disney is moving forward.
The report indicates that Disney is moving from department to department as they assess their needs, letting people know if they'll be staying on or letting go. Sources say they are being notified if they're getting three months or six months to stay on in this transition period.
Disney boss Bob Iger made it clear prior to the merger that they were looking at cost-saving cuts, hoping to save $2 billion in annual spending by 2021, which caused analysts to speculate that those savings will be achieved by cutting jobs. Some reports speculate that at least 4,000 employees will be let go, while others say the number could go up to 10,000.
Iger issued a statement to employees after the deal closed earlier this week, hinting at some major changes taking place in the company.1comments
"We’ve spent the last year exploring the new opportunities and synergies generated by bringing our two legendary companies together. Leaders across both organizations have worked closely together to understand how to best unlock this potential and unleash innovation and creativity to generate long-term growth. We’re confident in our integration strategy and in our ability to execute it effectively; and we’re inspired and energized by the new possibilities."
"Our integration process will be an evolution, with some businesses impacted more than others. We’ve made many critical decisions already, but some areas still require further evaluation," Iger wrote.