PROVIDENCE – Hasbro Inc. is laying off approximately 20% of the staff at its film production company Entertainment One, thewrap.com reported Thursday.
Exact details of which jobs are being cut at Entertainment One were not clear. Representatives from Hasbro did not respond to PBN’s requests for comment.
“This workforce reduction is part of the ongoing transformational changes Hasbro announced in January to substantially reduce costs and increase growth rates and profitability,” Hasbro spokesperson Roberta Thomson told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement on Thursday.
The layoffs at Entertainment One are part of the 1,000 jobs being eliminated that Hasbro first announced on Jan. 26, according to the report. Hasbro told Providence Business News in January it was cutting this year to save up to $300 million annually by 2025.
The Pawtucket-based company said at the time the layoffs amount to 15% of its global full-time workforce, with only a “small percentage” of those jobs being cut in Rhode Island.
When the layoffs were announced, Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks said in a statement that the toymaker will “focus on fewer, bigger brands; gaming; digital; and our rapidly growing direct to consumer and licensing businesses.
“The elimination of these positions will impact many loyal Hasbro employees, and we do not undertake this process lightly,” Cocks said in the statement. “However, the changes are necessary to return our business to a competitive, industry-leading position and to provide the foundation for future success.”
Hasbro bought Entertainment One for about $4 billion in 2019 to expand into the infant and preschool market by gaining access to popular TV shows such as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks.”
On Nov. 17, Hasbro announced it was selling part of its Entertainment One film and TV production and distribution unit.
Hasbro announced on April 24 that it has entered into a multiyear licensing agreement with Mattel Inc. to create co-branded toys and games to coincide with the summer movie season.
Hasbro will create Barbie-branded Monopoly games launching in fall 2023, while Mattel will produce Transformers-branded UNO games slated for release later this year and Transformers-branded Hot Wheels vehicles set to debut in early 2024.
The new collaboration is being launched against the backdrop of two theatrical releases this summer – Hasbro’s “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” from Paramount Pictures Corp. on June 9 and Mattel’s “Barbie” from Warner Bros. on July 21.
On April 27, Hasbro reported a loss of $22.1 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared with a profit of $61.2 million in the 2022 first quarter.
Despite the loss for the quarter, Cocks said in a statement released April 27 that the results were ahead of the company’s expectations. While acknowledging it is forecasting a “flat to declining toy and game market in 2023,” Hasbro said it still expects to meet its targets for the full year.
Cocks said the company has made progress in implementing its Blueprint 2.0 strategy, including heightening the company’s focus on high-growth, high-profit categories while improving its cost structure and adding talented executives to its leadership team.
“First quarter results came in ahead of our expectations and position Hasbro to meet our full-year financial targets,” Cocks said the April 27 statement. “The global Hasbro team continues to execute our strategy to unlock the value of our rich IP library across our growth priorities including in gaming, direct-to-consumer and licensing.”