A visiting fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School says Disney’s restructuring has made the company more like Netflix.
Disney has announced it is to lay off an additional 4,000 staff, mostly in its parks business, up from the 28,000 staff it had announced would go in September.
Hamza Mudassir says Disney’s cruise, theme park, cable TV, live sports, cinema and retail businesses have been crushed by the pandemic, leaving streaming service Disney+ coming out as the clear winner.
“From a corporate strategy perspective, the move is remarkable on two fronts. Firstly, the sheer velocity of this pivot for a company the size and age of Disney is, for lack of a better word, unprecedented
“The fact that in just seven months of the pandemic breaking out, Disney decided to reinvent itself primarily around streaming speaks volumes about its expectations regarding the pandemic length. Clearly the group decided that waiting it out was no longer an option.”
Mudassir says a better funded Disney+ that is willing to stream highly anticipated theatrical releases on day one will also sharply impact the ability of cinema chains to bounce back whenever the pandemic subsides. Disney has already chosen to release not only the live action Mulan but its newest Pixar animation, Soul, through the streaming site.
Chef Gusteau in the Disney movie Ratatouille?once said: “if you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.” This seminal line seems more relevant now than ever before.