Disney Interactive is laying off about 200 employees as the fallout continues from the unit’s restructuring that began last fall. The latest job cuts, which are expected to come in the next two or three weeks, were not unexpected after Jimmy Pitaro was tapped to run the division solo in November. “This is part of Jimmy’s long-term plan to move the division into the black,” an insider told me today. Previously, Disney Interactive laid off 50 employees in September 2012, when the unit sported about 2,000 employees. Pitaro was co-president of Disney Interactive with John Pleasants before the unit’s Games and Media divisions were merged and Pleasants exited. The pair were installed in 2010, when Bob Iger brought in Pleasants to run the games biz and the social gaming acquisition Playdom alongside Pitaro, who came from Yahoo to head digital media at Disney Online. The layoffs come despite the success of the Disney Infinity multiverse game, which after delays launched in August 2013.
Last April, Walt Disney Studios laid off about 150 as part of a broader reorganization affecting other divisions. The restructure comes as a result of an internal review ordered in late 2012 by CEO Bob Iger and CFO Jay Rasulo to pinpoint superfluous positions and increase efficiency.
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