D&D and Magic: The Gathering owner Hasbro announces the layoffs of 1,100 employees, calls it a ‘lever we must pull to keep Hasbro healthy’

Hasbro, the toy company which oversees D&D and Magic: The Gathering (under Wizards of the Coast), has announced sweeping layoffs just two weeks before the holiday season.

The decision was announced yesterday in an internal memo by CEO Chris Cocks, who wrote: “While we have made some important progress across our organisation, the headwinds we saw through the first nine months of the year have continued into the holiday and are likely to persist into 2024.”

The layoffs will impact “approximately 1,100 colleagues globally in addition to the roughly 800 reductions already taken,” referring to earlier layoffs announced in January of this year.

“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,” wrote Cocks though he maintains that the layoffs were “a lever we must pull to keep Hasbro healthy.”

As noted by Dicebreaker, a form from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that Cocks earns a salary of $1.5 million. Last year, an additional $9.4 million in compensation was added to that number. As per the article, there have been no reported cuts to “executive salary, bonuses or additional compensation.”

In a statement from October, Hasbro’s Chief financial officer Gina Goetter said that the company was “on track to meet our long-term gross cost savings goals earlier than expected,” though there were some noted declines in revenue. Goetter then went on to say: “Resetting our cost base and removing complexity will help ensure we are well positioned as we sharpen our innovation pipeline for 2024 and 2025.”

In terms of the decision to do so now, Cocks writes: “To position Hasbro for growth, we must first make sure our foundation is solid and profitable. To do that, we need to modernize our organization and get even leaner. We decided to communicate now so people have time to plan and process the changes.”

While Hasbro has dropped this news right before the holiday season, the layoffs won’t all be happening before the end of the year. The memo states that “The majority of the notifications will happen over the next six months, with the balance occurring over the next year as we tackle the remaining work on our organisational model.”

While it’s possible some layoffs will occur sooner than others—those not included in the “majority”—the lion’s share of staff won’t be out of a job until sometime in 2024. Cocks adds that affected employees will receive “comprehensive packages including job placement support to assist in their transition.”

It’s unclear whether Wizards of the Coast staff will be impacted by the layoffs. Hasbro will also be closing its office in Rhode Island, Providence, once its lease has expired in January 2025.

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