• Disney recently terminated 50 employees from their metaverse team as part of their cost-cutting measures.
• The former CEO Bob Chapek had hired Mike White to lead the metaverse division but with the leadership change to Bob Iger, the future of the project is uncertain.
• Despite initial plans for Web3 expansion, budget cuts have forced Disney to rethink expensive dream projects and let go of their metaverse team.
Disney Lays Off Metaverse Team
Disney has been forced to cut costs by laying off 50 members of its Metaverse team in an attempt to streamline business operations. This comes as part of a larger initiative by CEO Bob Iger that seeks to reduce expenses by cutting jobs across the company’s entire roster; over 7,000 staff members are expected to be laid off in total.
Web3 Initiatives Under Former CEO
Former CEO Bob Chapek had chosen Polygon as Disney’s blockchain partner and invested heavily in Web3 initiatives, including NFTs and DeFi projects. He also appointed Mike White as SVP for consumer experiences and platforms with a specific goal of developing interactive storytelling using Disney’s library of intellectual property for Web3 applications.
Leadership Changes Impact Metaverse Plans
Following a leadership change from Chapek to Iger in November 2022, it was unclear what would happen with Disney’s metaverse plans. Last month, however, Iger announced that budget cuts totaling around $5.5 billion would necessitate eliminating around 7000 jobs across the company – including all but one member of Disney’s metaverse team.
Questioning The Value Of Web3
The abrupt termination of its metaverse team seems to indicate that even Disney is questioning the continued value of Web3 investments during this economic downturn despite initially committing significant resources towards such projects. It remains uncertain whether Mike White will continue leading these efforts or if they will be abandoned completely due to budget constraints.