Hasbro – owner of Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering – is laying off 1,100 employees a fortnight before Christmas to keep the company “healthy.”
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Hasbro announced the layoffs on 11 December, with CEO Chris Cocks saying toy and games market headwinds “have proven to be stronger and more persistent than planned.” Cocks also noted that the “headwinds we saw through the first nine months of the year have continued…and are likely to persist into 2024.”
Hasbro previously laid off roughly 800 staff members in January 2023, which formed part of a plan to save $300 million annually by 2025, AP reported. This next wave of layoffs, only eleven months later, will see the toy giant’s roughly 6,400 employes reduced by almost 20%. Beyond the company’s major cash cows in Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons and MtG, Hasbro is also known for producing Monopoly, as well as My Little Pony, Transformers, and Peppa Pig, to name a few.
“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,” Cocks said in an email to staff, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I know this news is especially difficult during the holiday season…There is no sugar-coating how hard this is, particularly for the employees directly affected”.
Cocks’ memo also describes the major layoffs (bringing the total for Hasbro to almost two thousand) as a “last resort” and a “lever we must pull to keep Hasbro healthy.” As noted by Dicebreaker, Cocks earns an annual salary of $1.5 million, and was the recipient of $9.4 million in compensation last year.
Hasbro also plans to vacate its Providence, Rhode Island office in January 2024, as the company is not using it “to its full capacity,” likely due to hybrid working models becoming more common post-pandemic.
Employees impacted by the Hasbro layoffs will be notified over the next six months, and it’s not quite clear just yet exactly which departments or IPs might be affected, including whether Wizards of the Coast is caught up in the workforce reduction. Given the Hasbro subsidiary produces some of the company’s most profitable products thanks to the rising popularity of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, it’s possible Hasbro’s tabletop goldmine might be spared this time around.
It’s likely we’ll be hearing more about exactly which Hasbro staff and departments will be subject to layoffs as we enter the new year and beyond (given the rather drawn out layoff process) – but for staff at the company, it’s likely to be a tense holiday season as job losses loom over the workforce just two weeks before Christmas.
Lead Image Credit: Wizards of the Coast
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