Disney lays off metaverse division staff over broader restructuring

The Walt Disney Co., a leading U.S.-based mass media and entertainment company, has reportedly planned to shut down its metaverse segment as part of staff cutbacks that intends to trim the headcount by about 7,000 throughout the corporation over the following two months, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Bob Iger, the CEO, announced on Monday that the cuts would start this week. The small division within Apparently, Disney that was developing metaverse strategies through the customer experiences unit, and next-gen storytelling, seems to be one of the first to be reduced.

Mike White, Consumer Experiences and Platforms’ SVP who was promoted to lead the metaverse group in February 2022, is in the position of driving Disney further into the web3 territory.

In accordance with WSJ, the unit looked for methods to employ Disney's vast library of intellectual property to convey engaging stories in immersive ways. In addition to the familiar and most-loved Disney, this vast collection comprises Pixar, Marvel, as well as all the Star Wars productions.

Sources further reveal that all 50 or so employees of the team are out of their jobs. White will continue working for the business, but it is unclear in what role.

As per an internal memo, White was hired by Disney's former CEO, Bob Chapek a year ago with the intention of developing an entirely unique model on the way viewers interact and connect with the stories. Chapek also addressed the metaverse as the next outstanding storytelling frontier as well as an ideal place for pursuing the key strategic principles of innovation, storytelling excellence, as well as audience focus.

A few months after Facebook changed its name to Meta in an effort to align itself with the cutting-edge technology that CEO Mark Zuckerberg had been investing billions of dollars in, White's hiring as well as the establishment of the newly formed metaverse section followed.

Source credit: https://techcrunch.com/2023/03/27/disney-cuts-metaverse-division-as-part-of-broader-restructuring/