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Cost-cutting measures at Hollywood conglomerate Endeavor will affect up to one-third of the company’s workforce by the end of May, Variety has learned.
The cuts will manifest as layoffs, reduced pay for reduced hours for select employees and furloughs, a company spokesperson said. Endeavor currently employs 7,500 people worldwide in more than 90 offices.
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The cuts will affect every division of Endeavor’s core business, including talent agency WME at every level of that company, and portfolio holdings including live events company IMG.
“The long-term prospects for Endeavor remain unchanged, but like other companies, we are taking a variety of actions to mitigate the impact of this pandemic. Since late March, we have been rolling out cost-saving measures in phases across our companies and geographies and intend to complete most of this process in late May,” an Endeavor spokesperson told Variety.
“Approximately a third of our population will be impacted by reduced pay for reduced work, furlough, or position elimination, with the majority affected by reduced work and furlough.”
Word of Endeavor’s next phase of cuts were prompted by days of speculation that a culling was imminent at WME, specifically in TV and motion picture lit departments. One Endeavor insider disputed this, saying all departments will see cuts.
The cuts are largely in response to the devastating impact of coronavirus, insiders told Variety, as Endeavor looks to bolster its cash liquidity and defer or reduce the workforce impacted by quarantines — including those in the live events sector and physical production.
The narrative surrounding the high-flying operation, run by Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, has largely been centered around the company’s significant $4.6 billion in debt, and broken promises from leadership to senior members of the company after a scuttled public offering last fall.
The Endeavor insider said the cuts are part of a larger strategy to stay nimble, and reaffirmed the faith of Endeavor’s primary investor Silver Lake Partners.
Belt-tightening began March 25, with roughly 250 staffers laid off and salary reductions instituted from the top down. Agencies including CAA, UTA, ICM and Paradigm have made similar cost-cutting measures in the weeks following the spread of COVID-19.
Elaine Low contributed to this report.
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