The Market Loved Disney’s Cost Cuts. Some ESG Critics Say It’s Putting Shareholders Ahead of Workers.


Like many companies, Walt Disney does its best to avoid controversy. But in winning over investors this past week, with plans to cut costs and reinstate its dividend, Disney may have irked investors who consider the company a leader in ESG, or environmental, social and governance investing.

In his first earnings call since taking back the reins of Disney (ticker: DIS), CEO Bob Iger promised $5.5 billion in cost cuts, adding that to achieve that target, the company would be reducing “its workforce by approximately 7,000 jobs.” He also said the company hoped to reinstate its dividend by the end of the year. The cuts are not expected to affect employees in hourly front-line roles at the theme parks.


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