Layoffs Hit Disney+, Walt Disney Studios Marketing Teams | Exclusive

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Continuing a turbulent week with 4000 job cuts expected

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The massive Disney layoffs continue.

As part of the ongoing company-wide downsizing, executives at Disney+ and Walt Disney Studios marketing departments have been let go, TheWrap has learned.

The company aims to eliminate 7,000 jobs by this summer, with the total reaching 4,000 by the end of the week. Among those affected are Natalie Benson, director, digital marketing for Disney+; Chris Bettes, vice president, global marketing for Disney+; Angie Poston, vice president, marketing strategy for Disney+; and Erik Dane, vice president, digital marketing for Walt Disney Studios.

Earlier today we exclusively reported that Trevor Kelley, an executive at Disney+, was also let go as part of the layoffs. Statistical guru Nate Silver will also be leaving ABC.

More meetings are being held throughout the afternoon at various Disney business units; one source said that layoffs have been happening every 30 minutes today. Disney Branded Television have also felt the effects of the layoffs today.

Today’s activity shows just how cross-sectional these layoffs really are. Bettes, Poston and Dane were all former 20th Century Fox employees who were imported to Disney following the massive, $71.3 billion sale of Fox that began in 2017 and was completed in 2019. (Dane has a giant poster of Bill Pullman’s character from “Independence Day” that takes up almost one entire wall in his office; it was a prop from the sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence.”) Ironically, that heavy debt load from the acquisition is partially to blame for the massive belt-tightening and pruning that is going on around the company, with the other major factor the expenses associated with the launch and continued programming of Disney+. For her part, Benson came over from FX, also now a part of the Disney family following the Fox acquisition.

The coming days will be filled with even more layoffs and we will keep reporting on this difficult time.