Hasbro-owned Entertainment One is letting go of 10% of its film and TV staff, Variety has confirmed.
According to a memo from eOne’s head of film and TV, Steve Bertram, the layoffs come amid a move to “evolve the focus and structure of our organization around the world” and comes in response to the “significant disruption the traditional studio model was experiencing as the technology giants invested heavily in their platforms and the creation of original content,” which has been accelerated by the pandemic.
Recent years have seen the cementing of heavily vertically integrated entertainment companies, from Disney to AT&T-owned WarnerMedia to Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, which have all launched streaming services.
Entertainment One, which was acquired by Hasbro in an all-cash $3.8 billion deal, shuttered its German theatrical distribution operation last fall and in 2019 halted direct theatrical distribution in Australia and New Zealand. Since being acquired by Hasbro, eOne is now responsible for all of Hasbro’s entertainment slate, uniting “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” with “Transformers” and “Dungeons & Dragons” under the same roof, and last year brought former HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo on board to lead all of its TV operations.
“While we prolonged taking this action for as long as we could as a result of the difficult global climate, it is more important than ever that our organizational structure reflects the needs of the business,” said Bertram in his letter to staff.
Deadline first reported news of the layoffs.
Read the full memo below:
Over the past several years, we have shared with you our strategy to shift our Film and Television business towards greater control and creative stewardship of high-quality IP. This shift was in direct response to the significant disruption the traditional studio model was experiencing as the technology giants invested heavily in their platforms and the creation of original content. And the effects of the pandemic have certainly accelerated these seismic changes taking hold across our industry.
As a truly platform-agnostic business, we are well-positioned to thrive in the new marketplace, especially with Hasbro’s iconic brands. But, in evolving with the changing industry dynamics as we have, we must evolve the focus and structure of our organization around the world.
To that end, I’m deeply saddened to share with you that we have said goodbye to a number of our colleagues today and have commenced conversations with others about possible changes to their roles. These team members have delivered outstanding work and demonstrated a staunch devotion to eOne throughout their respective tenures and we are immensely grateful to them all. I want to recognize their vital contribution to our business and thank each of them for their commitment and countless successes.
The roles affected by this reorganization represent 10% of our film and television workforce. For employees in impacted roles, we are thinking critically about other possible opportunities across the business.
To be clear, our reorganization is not a result of poor business performance during the pandemic; the industry has been shifting for a long time with consolidation around the new global platforms. While we prolonged taking this action for as long as we could as a result of the difficult global climate, it is more important than ever that our organizational structure reflects the needs of the business. And, with the promising creative pipeline across Film and Television in front of us and pandemic recovery hopefully on the horizon, it’s essential that we are set up to take on the opportunities ahead.
We are today focused on supporting our impacted colleagues and offering to departing team members support through severance and healthcare packages, in addition to professional services and assistance programs. Impacted team members have been notified and have received more details on a personal basis. To those departing today and over the next few weeks, I want to thank each of you for your contributions to eOne and offer both my assistance and that of our senior leaders as you think about the future. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly.
A number of business leaders will be meeting with their teams to share more information about our structure and vision for the future.
While days like today are very difficult, I continue to be incredibly optimistic about the future of our business – and I’m looking forward to delivering on our goals together.
All my best,