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Criterion Lays Off 20% of Staff as Part of ‘Reorganization’

President Peter Becker says no further changes are planned

Criterion laid off 20% of its staff on Wednesday, citing a “reorganization” of the company.

Sixteen out of more than 80 employees were dismissed from the home-video distribution and streaming service, according to Criterion president Peter Becker, who said the layoffs were prompted by new “challenges and opportunities” the company faces.

“Yesterday was a sad day at Criterion,” Becker told Indiewire via email of the Sept. 19 layoffs. “We had to part ways with a number of staffers across several departments as part of a reorganization intended to prepare the company for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, which are markedly different from the ones we had built ourselves up to address in the past.”

Becker did not clarify which departments were affected, but said no further changes were in the works.

“We spoke personally with everyone impacted to express the company’s respect and our gratitude for their work, of which we all remain very proud,” the statement continued.

A representative for Criterion had no further comment.

Founded in 1984, the Criterion Collection releases “important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements,” per its official mission statement. In addition to physical media, Criterion’s streaming platform The Criterion Channel debuted in 2019.