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Warner Bros. CEO Issues Memo on Layoffs: ‘These Changes are Challenging’

Kevin Tsujihara
Photograph by Bryce Duffy

Warner Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Tsujihara announced in a company-wide memo that layoffs at the film and television studio will begin Tuesday.

Variety first reported that staffing cuts will begin this week, and are expected to claim approximately 1,000 jobs.

“We at Warner Bros. have committed to reducing costs across the company in order to meet our long-term financial targets, and that includes cutting staff,” Tsujihara wrote. “These changes are challenging, but we believe they will allow us to reallocate resources and position the company for growth and stability in the years ahead.”

The cuts are expected to take place in two waves, with most finishing before the end of the calendar year. The Warner Bros. chief said most business groups will be announcing staff changes this week, but said that some groups such as finance, technical operations and various international departments will operate on a different timetable. Those cuts could extend into 2015.

“These are difficult decisions, and we don’t take them lightly,” Tsuijhara wrote. “We examined every aspect of our businesses to ensure that we were restructuring in a way that would allow us to minimize the impact on our employees, while continuing to adapt to the changing global marketplace.”

Warner Bros. isn’t the only division of Time Warner making staffing cuts. Turner Broadcasting and HBO are also pink-slipping hundreds of employees in an effort to reduce overhead.

Here’s the full text of Tsuijhara’s memo:

Dear Colleagues:

There is no easy way to deliver today’s message. As you know, we at Warner Bros. have committed to reducing costs across the company in order to meet our long-term financial targets, and that includes cutting staff. These changes are challenging, but we believe they will allow us to reallocate resources and position the company for growth and stability in the years ahead.

We’ve now completed much of our company-wide review, and most business groups will be announcing staff changes this week, beginning today. However, some groups, including Finance, MIS and Technical Operations, have been engaged in more complex reorganizations; they will make some staff changes now, with most coming in the first quarter of next year. Similarly, international territories will proceed according to local policies and protocol, and most of their changes will be announced in the early part of next year.

I know that every employee around the world is a part of Warner Bros.’ success, and it’s difficult to lose colleagues who have helped make the Studio the global industry leader it is today. As always, we are committed to taking care of our employees, and we will be as generous as possible with those who are impacted by these cuts.

These are difficult decisions, and we don’t take them lightly. We examined every aspect of our businesses to ensure that we were restructuring in a way that would allow us to minimize the impact on our employees, while continuing to adapt to the changing global marketplace. With your continued help and support, I am confident that Warner Bros. will remain the best studio in the world, while preserving the culture that has made this company so special.