A labor union announced that DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc has already started laying people off. The exact number of layoffs has not been announced, but media reports indicate that up to 400 employees could lose their job.
The studio, led by Jeffrey Katzenberg wants to “significantly reduce” its workforce, according to a Los Angeles Times report – citing two people familiar with the matter.
Variety said that between 150 to 400 people could lose their jobs at the Glendale and Redwood City, California campuses of the studio.
DreamWorks Animation has been at the forefront of creating incredibly successful franchises, including “Shrek”, “Kung Fu Panda”, and “How To Train Your Dragon”.
In total the company has around 2,200 employees.
Last week a group of former DreamWorks employees told Animation Guild (their labor union) that they had been let go.
Steve Hulett, business representative at the Animation Guild, said:
“There are layoffs going on because I have had members call me who have been laid off,”
The layoffs are believed to include story-board artists, animators, and other production personnel, according to Variety and the L.A. Times.
The news of this latest layoff round comes only a couple of weeks following the appointment of two new co-presidents of feature animation, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria. In addition, the company’s Chief Creative Officer Bill Damaschke stepped down.
Talks of a buyout ended quickly
DreamWorks CEO Katzenberg was in talks with SoftBank Corp in September and with Hasbro Inc in November about a potential sale of the studio, however, these talks ended quickly.