Disney Shuts Down Metaverse Unit in First Round of Layoffs
- Disney joins Microsoft and Amazon to lay off staff in 2023.
Disney has scrapped its budding metaverse unit in what appears to be the company’s first attempt at a company-wide layoff. Reports state that about 50 employees were affected by the company’s decision to shut down the unit. The metaverse unit was branded as Disney’s “next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences unit.”
Disney appears to be set for a major restructuring that would take place over the next few months and affect an estimated 7,000 employees. The move is part of the company’s plans to reduce its costs by $5.5 billion. Interim CEO Bob Iger has informed employees of another round of layoffs slated for next week, which would supposedly affect people in other divisions. Iger, in a memo sent on Tuesday, asked employees to anticipate a final wave of layoffs “before the beginning of summer.”
Disney’s foray into the metaverse failed to yield the results the firm would have hoped for. The company’s former CEO, Bob Chapek, described the metaverse as “the next great storytelling frontier.” Mike White, who was employed to lead the division, said the unit planned to “create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories.”
Sadly, things did not go as smoothly as expected. More than a year after its launch, the metaverse unit remained obscure. However, Disney maintained a focus on figuring out how to best maximize the budding metaverse space. The entertainment company believed the metaverse could play a key role in improving the customer experience in fantasy sports as well as theme park attractions.
Disney isn’t the only top organization to have embraced a massive job cut to trim its operations. Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, Meta, and Spotify have all made similar decisions in recent months. Most organizations blame the global economic crisis and increased competition as their reasons for laying off staff.