The Walt Disney Co has laid off Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter as part of a cost-cutting campaign.
The billionaire, who sold the comic book giant Marvel to Disney for $4 billion in 2009, was told last week that Disney is folding his Marvel Entertainment unit into other parts of the company.
Perlmutter had supported activist shareholder Nelson Peltz’s unsuccessful bid this year to win a seat on Disney’s corporate board.
Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment, will remain and report to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Perlmutter initially had oversight of Marvel Studios, which developed films based on Marvel characters. However, in 2015, Disney CEO Bob Iger moved Marvel Studios from Perlmutter’s division and into Disney’s larger film operations.
Disney began to cut 7,000 jobs last week, in an effort to save $5.5 billion in costs and make its streaming business profitable.
Several major divisions of the company - Disney Entertainment, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and corporate – are impacted by the job losses.
In a memo to staff, Iger said the layoffs would come in three waves. The first round began last week. A second, larger round of layoffs will take place in April, Iger said, with several thousand staffers let go. A third round of layoffs will then occur “before the beginning of the summer”.
Disney had about 220,000 workers as of October 1, of which approximately 166,000 were employed in the United States. A cut of 7,000 jobs represents about 3% of its global workforce.