Walt Disney Co. DIS has pulled the plug on one of its units engaged in developing metaverse strategies, as part of its plan to reduce headcount.
What Happened: Disney shuttered its metaverse business that was operating as the “storytelling and consumer experiences unit,” Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
The move comes amid the entertainment giant’s plan to implement a broader restructuring that includes the elimination of 7,000 jobs across the organization, the report said.
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The “storytelling and consumer experiences” unit was reportedly headed by Disney consumer products executive Mike White and he was functioning with the mandate of finding ways to tell interactive stories in new technological formats. The company hoped the unit to feed off its extensive library of intellectual property.
All 50 members of the unit have left, while White, who was hired by former CEO Bob Chapek in 2022, stayed with the company, the report said.
Why It’s Important: Although Bob Iger, who retook the reins of the company in Nov. 2022, is bullish on metaverse, the shutdown could be due to mounting pressure from investors to make cuts to non-essential businesses, the report said.
Late last year, the Journal reported that the company’s move to restructure based on recommendations from management consultancy firm McKinsey enraged its executives.
The haziness of the metaverse concept and how it will likely evolve have questioned the logic behind companies plowing millions of dollars into the new-age technology.
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