The acquisition of the 21st Century Fox assets by Disney just closed, and the bloodshed has begun. Variety reports that a number of top executives, including Chris Aronson, Heather Phillips, Julie Rieger, Mike Dunn and Andrew Cripps, are among the first to be let go.
“The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level,” Variety reports. “Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team.”
The merger could result in as many as 4,000 job cuts, the story reports, adding: “On the studio side, the first wave of job losses is relatively small and targeted.”
“One of the most prominent names to lose his post is domestic distribution head Chris Aronson, a fixture at Fox, who was given his 60-day notice on Thursday,” Variety reports. “The blunt-spoken Aronson helped oversee the rollout of such Fox hits as ‘Life of Pi,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Kingsman.’”
Variety report that Heather Phillips, EVP and head of domestic publicity, and Mike Dunn, president of product strategy and consumer business development, also lost their jobs.
“Fox’s marketing leadership was also hit hard,” Variety adds. “Pam Levine, worldwide theatrical marketing president, Kevin Campbell, co-president of worldwide theatrical marketing, and Tony Sella, chief content officer, have all been let go.”
As we reported separately, Greg Meidel, who was president of Twentieth Television for nine years, was another casualty.