Disney to freeze most hiring and limit employee travel as it seeks to shore up shares that have fallen 39% this year | Tech US News

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Walt Disney announced a company-wide cost-cutting drive, including a hiring freeze on all but the most important jobs, days after a broader loss in streaming led to its worst one-day drop in shares 20 years old

A new executive committee that includes chief financial officer Christine McCarthy and general counsel Horacio GutiƩrrez will lead the savings efforts, according to a memo Friday from chief executive Bob Chapek. That will include staff cuts.

The entertainment giant shocked investors this week when it reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales and profits, and two of its core businesses – streaming and parks – posted disappointing results.

“We are limiting staff additions through a selective hiring freeze,” Chapek said in the memo. “Recruiting for the small subset of the most critical business leadership positions will continue, but all other roles are on hold.”

The company has also instructed employees to take only essential business travel and said it will require management approval to attend conferences and other events.

Losses at Disney’s direct-to-consumer arm, driven by its Disney+ streaming service, more than doubled to $1.47 billion in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, due to higher programming expenses and the cost of rolling out the service to new countries .

The shortfall prompted management to pledge to seek “significant efficiencies” in areas such as marketing. Chapek said at the time that the company’s transmission losses were peaking.

“While we will not sacrifice the quality or strength of our unmatched synergy machine, we must ensure that our investments are efficient and have tangible benefits for both the public and the company,” Chapek wrote Friday.

CNBC reported on the cost-cutting campaign earlier Friday.

Disney shares rose fractionally to $95.51 in extended trading. Shares are down 39% this year, including a 13% drop on Nov. 9, a day after the company reported financial results.

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