Amazon to Consolidate Amazon Studios and MGM Teams Following Layoffs

In a memo to staff, studio head Jen Salke says the company “will continue to make significant content investments and deliver a robust slate”


The recent mass layoffs across Amazon Prime Video and MGM Studios are part of a plan to consolidate the two divisions. A memo to staff from head of Amazon Studio Jen Salke was released to the media on Wednesday.

An insider familiar with the matter told TheWrap the released memo is accurate.

“While we will continue to make significant content investments and deliver a robust slate, it’s also important that we continue to focus on becoming more operationally efficient and coordinated in driving success across our business,” Salke wrote.

Part of these layoffs have to do with a plan to consolidate Amazon Studios and MGM’s theatrical distribution. “Having one team will allow us to look across our content and decide the best release strategy for each title,” Salke wrote.

These consolidation efforts have led to roles being lost across the Amazon MGM Studios teams, including studio marketing, business operations and Amazon MGM Studios Dsstribution teams.

Moving forward, Kevin Wilson will continue to lead this division, which will now be known as the Amazon MGM Studios Theatrical Distribution team.

Salke also confirmed that all impacted employees in the Americas have been notified of their layoffs. Impacted employees in other regions of the world will be told by the end of the week depending on the requirements of local processes.

“Change is always hard and decisions to lose valued employees are not ones we take lightly. As shared this morning, we remain very optimistic about the long-term future of Amazon MGM Studios and continue to make significant investments towards making Prime the most loved entertainment hub for customers globally,” Salke wrote.

In a separate memo, Salke and Chris Brearton, vice president of corporate strategy for Prime Video and Studios, also revealed that the MGM Scripted Television team and the MGM+ Productions team will be combining to form a unified creative group. Lindsay Sloane, the former senior EVP of MGM Scripted TV, will lead the combined group. It will focus on continuing to produce premium scripted series for third party partners and new shows for MGM+.

Michael Wright will continue to be the head of MGM+ and will be responsible for all programming and greenlight decisions for the platform. Wright and Sloane will report to Brearton and will be part of a newly created group that will also include MGM Alternative Television, which will continue to be led by Barry Poznick. These teams will also work closely with Vernon Sanders at Amazon MGM Studios on potential series for distribution on Prime Video.

“We recognize this news is difficult. Please know that we do not take these decisions lightly,” Brearton and Salke wrote in their joint memo.

Deadline was the first to report this story.


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