Politics 28000 Layoffs coming to Disney's domestic theme parks - statement from Josh D'Amaro

This thread contains political discussion related to the original thread topic

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Since the 2008 crash I’ve seen a lot of this in action. Where I worked in transportation we were flooded with MBA type grads who would have gone into financial areas previously. A lot of these didn’t care about the business in the way people who joined previously did and didn't care about the service aspects of the job or take time to understand the people.

the relentless targets and cutting created a culture of fear and back stabbing as people became more and more scared of being laid off in the yearly reorg and culls. Rather than motivating people people did the bear minimum to get by and all the years of good will were lost along with productivity Eventually after several battles against some of these people I lost my job in a cull and ended up having a breakdown which I’ve not really fully recovered from.

please dont get me wring I’m not anti MBA but what you need is a balance of all talents. When one becomes dominant it usually leads to a fall and I fear thats what Disney is going through now
You’re describing EXACTLY what has happened to TWDC...

Slowly dating to the mid 90’s...rapidly accelerating the last 10+ years
 

FuturePort83

Premium Member
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Since the 2008 crash I’ve seen a lot of this in action. Where I worked in transportation we were flooded with MBA type grads who would have gone into financial areas previously. A lot of these didn’t care about the business in the way people who joined previously did and didn't care about the service aspects of the job or take time to understand the people.

the relentless targets and cutting created a culture of fear and back stabbing as people became more and more scared of being laid off in the yearly reorg and culls. Rather than motivating people people did the bear minimum to get by and all the years of good will were lost along with productivity Eventually after several battles against some of these people I lost my job in a cull and ended up having a breakdown which I’ve not really fully recovered from.

please dont get me wring I’m not anti MBA but what you need is a balance of all talents. When one becomes dominant it usually leads to a fall and I fear thats what Disney is going through now
I agree. The rise of the professional managerial class has not been great for American companies and organizations. You see the same situation growing in arts institutions now. Many of these folks don't have a commitment to the mission of the organization. Their primary commitment is to their own advancement. Institutional knowledge is lost, the quality of the "product" suffers and the other workers don't have the same opportunities to rise through the ranks like they used to.
 
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MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
has she gotten any answers?
Yes.

To the question, "Why are you firing so many low wage workers when you have reinstated full and exorbitant executive pay along with exorbitant stock bonuses and have been involved in excessive buybacks of stocks and giving out dividends and sitting on billions of dollars of reserves?"

Disney has answered: "Our parks are safe for guests."

Done!
 

crispy

Well-Known Member
I agree. The rise of the professional managerial class has not been great for American companies and organizations. You see the same situation growing in arts institutions now. Many of these folks don't have a commitment to the mission of the organization. Their primary commitment is to their own advancement. Institutional knowledge is lost, the quality of the "product" suffers and the other workers don't have the same opportunities to rise through the ranks like they used to.
To add to that, by the time the excrement starts to hit the fan, those "leaders" are already out the door wreaking havoc on another organization that offered them more money. Yeah, I think we have all definitely seen this type of "leadership" in action before.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
To add to that, by the time the excrement starts to hit the fan, those "leaders" are already out the door wreaking havoc on another organization that offered them more money. Yeah, I think we have all definitely seen this type of "leadership" in action before.
I have reported to execs who come in with a boatload of accolades and accomplishments. Some thinking out of the box to impress their bosses and provide short term impacts to their work group. That's the game a number of them play successfully.
 

Serverfarm

New Member
Thanks for interpreting what I was trying to say....unfortunately that's not what I was trying to say at all. I'm a business school grad myself (pretty famous school in Philadelphia) and a CFO with a CPA license (i.e. bean counter). I completely understand the necessary roles of business school grads. But in my years of experience I've also learned that companies that only rely on bean counters making decisions usually aren't the best companies. A company has to focus and give equal weight to operations and sales and in Disney's case creative products (whether it be movies or theme parks). Sometimes a few, extra beans are worth it for the overall good and longevity of the company. Goofy, let's check back in a couple of years and see if focusing only on the bottom line at the expense of the core product, paid off. The "core product" in this discussion being more than just an amusement park, but rather a theme park resort with lots of tasty little extras.
Wharton? Go figure.... Nothing personal, but the place where most authors of the 2008 crash were educated, the current president was from there, I worked with several from there in companies that ended up in M&A and [hostile] takeovers, seen lots of layoffs and lost/sold off innovation... but sure made the balance sheets look good for their "leaders" and "network of investors". Am I anti? Yes... I'm going there. MBAs are only good in making you use your money efficiently. That's great in high times, when performance is lagging, round of bad products, fraud/bad practices (that was 2008!), poor management/over leveraged risk. In simpler terms: when demand is there but you can't grow further is where MBAs shine (think Silicon Valley). That's it, nothing more.

So, what we see is Disney leadership believes all the innovation created in the past 13yrs (cough, M&As) just need biz folks/MBA/brand mgrs to exploit it. "unlock the value" is the buzzword. These are NOT those times: there is no business, no demand, your customer has basically abandoned your product plus the gov't has disenfranchised the entire industry.

Solution: innovate, create the demand. Hold it... they let the staff that does that go.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Wharton? Go figure.... Nothing personal, but the place where most authors of the 2008 crash were educated, the current president was from there, I worked with several from there in companies that ended up in M&A and [hostile] takeovers, seen lots of layoffs and lost/sold off innovation... but sure made the balance sheets look good for their "leaders" and "network of investors". Am I anti? Yes... I'm going there. MBAs are only good in making you use your money efficiently. That's great in high times, when performance is lagging, round of bad products, fraud/bad practices (that was 2008!), poor management/over leveraged risk. In simpler terms: when demand is there but you can't grow further is where MBAs shine (think Silicon Valley). That's it, nothing more.

So, what we see is Disney leadership believes all the innovation created in the past 13yrs (cough, M&As) just need biz folks/MBA/brand mgrs to exploit it. "unlock the value" is the buzzword. These are NOT those times: there is no business, no demand, your customer has basically abandoned your product plus the gov't has disenfranchised the entire industry.

Solution: innovate, create the demand. Hold it... they let the staff that does that go.
...uh oh...thems fighting words!! 🤪

(Not to take sides...but I’m more Stanford, Princeton, Cal, Columbia school of thought than Harvard, Wharton, Chicago...But that’s a personal preference)
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Since the 2008 crash I’ve seen a lot of this in action. Where I worked in transportation we were flooded with MBA type grads who would have gone into financial areas previously. A lot of these didn’t care about the business in the way people who joined previously did and didn't care about the service aspects of the job or take time to understand the people.

the relentless targets and cutting created a culture of fear and back stabbing as people became more and more scared of being laid off in the yearly reorg and culls. Rather than motivating people people did the bear minimum to get by and all the years of good will were lost along with productivity Eventually after several battles against some of these people I lost my job in a cull and ended up having a breakdown which I’ve not really fully recovered from.

please dont get me wring I’m not anti MBA but what you need is a balance of all talents. When one becomes dominant it usually leads to a fall and I fear thats what Disney is going through now
Yes. This. This should be required reading.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
I look at if the person has actually spent any time in the trenches actually doing what they are 'directing'

Did you spend real time in sales...
Did you spend real time in delivery...
Did you spend real time in development/creation...

If you go right from university... to one of the big consulting houses... to management. Then you fit the mold I am skeptical of.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
I look at if the person has actually spent any time in the trenches actually doing what they are 'directing'

Did you spend real time in sales...
Did you spend real time in delivery...
Did you spend real time in development/creation...

If you go right from university... to one of the big consulting houses... to management. Then you fit the mold I am skeptical of.
At this point it would be great to have a ceo that has actually visited the parks out of a true desire and not just for a photo op!
 

matt9112

Well-Known Member
I agree. The rise of the professional managerial class has not been great for American companies and organizations. You see the same situation growing in arts institutions now. Many of these folks don't have a commitment to the mission of the organization. Their primary commitment is to their own advancement. Institutional knowledge is lost, the quality of the "product" suffers and the other workers don't have the same opportunities to rise through the ranks like they used to.

Just call it what it is selfish.
 

Mr Mindcrime

Active Member
Nothing personal
I certainly don't take it personally. I'm not the stereotypical Wharton MBA. I agree with your comments 100%. I believe that MBA's have a place in the business world, but what most of them (us) don't have is an entrepreneurial gift. We're not sales-oriented. We're not creative. We're analysts focused on numbers and efficiencies. But, in my humble opinion, the totality of leadership is best served when you consider all functional areas of a business and not just the bottom line.
 

Mr Mindcrime

Active Member
Lol all I'll say is that, that has been a familiar refrain here for decades. " Just wait a few years_____" every time there is a change the old guard doesn't like. The old "Disney is becoming a six flags" has been predicted for decades now.
And basically it's taken a global pandemic to kill attendance.

So I'm betting on the house, 10 years from now Disney will be packed to the gills and we'll be complaining about crowds again
Now who knows, I've a number of friends who are regular Disney visitors and haven't heard anyone think it's like every other amusement park but they didn't go in the 70-90's so maybe they have nothing to compare it to.
At first I disagreed with you but after pondering your comments a bit, I've sort of evolved in my thinking.

My original belief is that if TWDC continues down the path of eliminating all of the "special little things" that elevated a trip to WDW to magical status, pretty soon it won't be magical, and thus on par with most any other entertainment option. Here is where I could be wrong (not saying I am wrong....but could be): today's world (i.e. younger consumers) are changing consumption habits. For instance, I would never want to watch a big college football game or concert or movie on a smart phone, while I'm doing something else. I want my big TV or a surround sound movie theater or stadium. So, with that said, it could be possible that all of the little special things that I like about visiting WDW may not be nearly as important to the new consumer. Maybe the new consumer is just perfectly happy with screen-rides and no live entertainment and less intensive theming, etc. If that's truly where TWDC is heading, then count me as sad.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
I certainly don't take it personally. I'm not the stereotypical Wharton MBA. I agree with your comments 100%. I believe that MBA's have a place in the business world, but what most of them (us) don't have is an entrepreneurial gift. We're not sales-oriented. We're not creative. We're analysts focused on numbers and efficiencies. But, in my humble opinion, the totality of leadership is best served when you consider all functional areas of a business and not just the bottom line.
I have always equated MBA's as the engineers of businesses. The engineers design and implement structure for projects and your task is similar. Being a Ravenclaw I understand the non-creative comment. I can't dream it up but give me an idea and I can expand and improve on it.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
At first I disagreed with you but after pondering your comments a bit, I've sort of evolved in my thinking.

My original belief is that if TWDC continues down the path of eliminating all of the "special little things" that elevated a trip to WDW to magical status, pretty soon it won't be magical, and thus on par with most any other entertainment option. Here is where I could be wrong (not saying I am wrong....but could be): today's world (i.e. younger consumers) are changing consumption habits. For instance, I would never want to watch a big college football game or concert or movie on a smart phone, while I'm doing something else. I want my big TV or a surround sound movie theater or stadium. So, with that said, it could be possible that all of the little special things that I like about visiting WDW may not be nearly as important to the new consumer. Maybe the new consumer is just perfectly happy with screen-rides and no live entertainment and less intensive theming, etc. If that's truly where TWDC is heading, then count me as sad.
I always look at it more as "different" than "sad". My kids aren't really into the live shows, they find them boring and chintz especially once they hit the teenage years.
Today's consumer is different, with a generation that grew up pretty much "looking" at some type of screen, from video games to their phones for entertainment it doesn't surprise me that they don't see anything wrong with screen rides.

People have been predicting the fall of Disney pretty much since this site open and yet it remains pretty popular. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be, us dinosaurs die out (stop going) and are replaced with a new generation of visitors. 🤷
 
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drizgirl

Well-Known Member
I always look at it more as "different" than "sad". My kids aren't really into the live shows, they find them boring and chintz especially once they hit the teenage years.
Today's consumer is different, with a generation that grew up pretty much "looking" at some type of screen, from video games to their phones for entertainment it doesn't surprise me that they don't see anything wrong with screen rides.

People have been predicting the fall of Disney pretty much since this site open and yet it remains pretty popular. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be, us dinosaurs die out (stop going) and are replaced with a new generation of visitors. 🤷
And when they're old enough to realize just how much a trip to Disney costs, and need to pay for it themselves, they might just decide that the screens they have at home already will be enough.
 

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