Toy and entertainment giant Hasbro will be laying off 1,000 people (roughly 15% of its workforce) after poor results in the last quarter, in spite of D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast performing well throughout 2022.
Following losses of 17% year-over-year, Hasbro stated that these cuts (alongside supply chain investments) would save the company between $250M and $300M in costs by 2025. While it didn't specify which departments those job losses would affect, CEO Chris Cocks noted that everything other than Wizards of the Coast and the Digital Gaming segment underperformed "against the backdrop of a challenging holiday consumer environment."
"We are focused on implementing transformational changes aimed at substantially reducing costs and increasing our growth rates and profitability," Cocks said in Hasbro's press release (opens in new tab). "While the full-year 2022, and particularly the fourth quarter, represented a challenging moment for Hasbro, we are confident in our Blueprint 2.0 strategy… which includes a focus on fewer, bigger brands; gaming; digital; and our rapidly growing direct to consumer and licensing businesses. Through this strategy, we are putting the consumer at the center of everything we do."
This follows claims from Wizards of the Coast CEO Cynthia Williams that D&D is "under monetised" during a web seminar late last year, and she noted that digital platform D&D Beyond would become a focus for the company to unlock further spending amongst fans.
Regarding the layoffs, Cocks said that "the elimination of these positions will impact many loyal Hasbro employees, and we do not undertake this process lightly. However, the changes are necessary to return our business to a competitive, industry-leading position and to provide the foundation for future success."
This news arrives shortly after the D&D licensing controversy that sent the community into uproar in January, an issue which saw so many fans cancel their online subscriptions that it crashed the page. And despite there being some good news for Wizards of the Coast here in terms of its financial success over 2022, these layoffs only add to what has already been a fraught year for Hasbro at large.
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