Disney has been cutting costs left and right, with lay-offs beginning earlier this week across Hulu and Disney+. These money saving measures have even made their way to the highest ranks of the company, with Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, chairman of Marvel Entertainment, being laid off. His division, which is separate from Marvel Studios, has been absorbed into other units of Disney, making his position obsolete.
Following Perlmutter, Marvel Entertainment’s co-president Rob Steffens and chief counsel John Turitzin were also dismissed from their positions. Dan Buckley, president of the division, is reportedly staying and will report directly to chief of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige.
Isaac Perlmutter owns a sizable share of Disney stock and was at the center of activist investor Nelson Peltz’s several month-long fight to join the Disney board. Based on Variety reports, it was discovered in February that Perlmutter’s backing of Peltz was due in part to CEO Bob Iger’s decision to cut off Perlmutter’s control of Marvel Studios all the way back in 2015. This sudden decrease in power reduced Marvel Entertainment to little more than consumer products and book publishing.
Peltz ended his battle in February after Iger announced his decision to reduce costs by $5.5 billion, which included minimizing the workforce by nearly 7,000 employees.
The unfortunate decision to lay off Perlmutter in an effort to cut costs is ironic, considering the chairman himself was known for “pinching pennies” himself, and had a reputation for forcing employees to reuse office supplies and holding Marvel Studios press junkets directly in Disney office spaces.
Perlmutter first took control of Marvel Entertainment in the 90s when the comic book publisher was on the brink of bankruptcy. He eventually sold the franchise to Disney in 2009 for $4 billion, a number the company has surpassed many times over as Marvel Studios became a box office behemoth, dominating the film industry during the 2010s.
This isn’t the end of Disney’s cost-reducing practices. As they cut down their workforce, Iger continues to allude to more challenges in the future for remaining employees. It seems that the job security at Disney right now is tenuous, and the company will experience even more reduction in the future.