Date: December 12, 2023
By Hanna Rose
After having already laid off 800 people this year, Hasbro has announced plans to lay off a further 1,100.
After having previously laid off 800 employees earlier this year, Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks has revealed intentions to further reduce the company’s workforce by 20 percent, affecting approximately 1,100 of its 6,400 employees.
In an internal email reported by the Wall Street Journal, Cocks acknowledged the challenges faced by the company in the current business environment, stating, “While we’re confident in the future of Hasbro, the current environment demands that we do more, even if these choices are some of the hardest we have to make.” He expressed empathy for the impacted employees, especially considering the holiday season, and emphasized the difficulty of the decision.
The initial layoffs in January aimed to achieve a cost-saving target of $300 million by 2025. However, Cocks cited ongoing challenges, stating that the difficulties observed in the first nine months of the year were persisting into the holiday season and were expected to continue into 2024.
Describing the decision to lay off additional staff as a “last resort,” Cocks characterized it as a necessary measure to maintain the overall health of Hasbro. It remains uncertain whether this move will affect Wizards of the Coast, the subsidiary that owns popular brands like Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, as weak toy sales during the festive season reportedly prompted the decision.
Cocks outlined that Hasbro had already informed or would notify affected employees within the next 24 hours. The layoffs are scheduled to take place over the next six months, with the company anticipating an additional savings of $50 to $100 million, bringing the total savings to $350 million to $400 million by the conclusion of 2025.
In response to this news, Hasbro’s stock experienced a 20 percent decline on Monday. With overall toy sales decreasing in the USA, the company revised its expectations for the holiday season, projecting a revenue drop of 13 to 15 percent.
Reflecting on the past year, Cocks reiterated Hasbro’s strategic focus on building fewer but stronger brands, noting achievements such as supply chain improvements, enhanced inventory management, cost reductions, and reinvestment in the business. However, he acknowledged that market challenges had proven more formidable and persistent than initially anticipated.
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