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Disney Layoffs Come to Consumer Products Group

Disney has issued pink slips this week to employees in its Consumer Products and Interactive Media group, a source said Friday, with the total amounting to significantly less than 50.

The Burbank, Ca.-based entertainment giant reported on Aug. 7 that the unit posted an 8% decline in revenues to $1 billion and a 10% slide in operating income to $324 million in its fiscal third quarter ended June 30.

“The decrease in operating income was due to lower income from licensing activities and decreased comparable retail store sales, partially offset by lower costs at our games business,” Disney said. “The decrease in income from licensing activities was driven by lower revenue from products based on ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Cars,’ partially offset by an increase from products based on ‘Avengers.'”

A source told Variety that the layoffs are related to a corporate restructuring announced in March, when Disney announced it would combine its parks and resorts unit with consumer products under Bob Chapek. At the time, the company said the combination of consumer products with the theme parks’ retail operations would lead to greater efficiencies.

Disney had no comment. The source also said that the job cuts are not related to Disney’s pending $71 billion acquisition of the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. Shareholders approved the deal in July.

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