Disney to layoff 14% of Pixar Employees

Pixar employees are bracing themselves for layoffs. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Pixar will be downsizing its workforce by 14%, affecting approximately 175 employees. Prior to these layoffs, Pixar employed around 1,300 workers.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Pixar employees were anticipating these layoffs due to prior notifications and recent structural changes at Disney, which led to significant layoffs at the company in 2023.

Sources informed The Hollywood Reporter that Pixar’s impending layoffs were postponed due to production schedules, stemming from the transition from producing direct-to-streaming content to feature films. Now, Pixar is expected to shift its focus away from creating content for Disney+ to primarily theatrical releases.

Pixar president Jim Morris addressed the employees in a company memo issued on Tuesday, assuring them that Disney would provide support throughout the layoff process. Additionally, Morris announced a virtual studio meeting in the afternoon for further discussion.

“I want to assure you that we will be offering extensive support as our colleagues start transitioning out of the studio. We are committed to ensuring that their departure is handled with the utmost respect and care at every stage,” said Morris. “This is important to me, and I understand its significance to all of us in the Pixar community. I will host a brief studio meeting via Zoom this afternoon at 5:00 to provide more details about today’s announcement.”

“Despite the challenges our industry has faced over the past few years, you have consistently shown up to contribute, collaborate, innovate, lead, and produce exceptional work at this studio. I express my deepest gratitude to you all, and for those who will be leaving us, I am hopeful that our paths will cross again, both professionally and personally,” Morris concluded.

These recent changes at Pixar and other Disney companies are attributed to Disney CEO Bob Iger’s redirection of Disney  away from oversaturating streaming services with content to retain audiences. Instead, Iger has shifted towards a quality-over-quantity approach. This shift follows Disney’s unsuccessful attempt to capitalize on streaming content during the pandemic, which failed to generate more than $480 million globally since 2019, according to CNBC.

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