Prolonged closures at Disney’s California-based theme parks and limited attendance at its open parks has forced the company to lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products division, the company said.
In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, Josh D’Amaro, head of parks at Disney, detailed several “difficult decisions” the company has had to make in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including ending its furlough of thousands of employees.
Shares of the company fell less than 2% after the closing bell on Tuesday.
Around 67% of the 28,000 laid off workers were part-time employees, according to a statement by D’Amaro on Tuesday. The company declined to break down the layoffs by individual park locations.
While Disney’s theme parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong have been able to reopen with limited capacity, both California Adventure and Disneyland have remained shuttered in Anaheim, California.
“As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy,” D’Amaro wrote in the memo to employees obtained by CNBC. “For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity.”
The parks, experiences and consumer products segment is a vitally important part of Disney’s business. Last year, it accounted for 37% of the company’s $69.6 billion in total revenue.
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