As part of a broader restructuring plan, The Walt Disney Co. has scrapped the small division that developed its metaverse strategy, and about 50 members of the team have lost their jobs, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported.
White remains with the company, but his new role is unclear, the people said, adding that the division is led by former Disney consumer products executive Mike White. White could not be reached for comment.
The metaverse, a future version of the Internet that blends the physical world with the digital and virtual worlds, is known to futurists, tech executives and investors as the metaverse or Web3. Disney CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC in February that he was interested in the metaverse, calling it “the third dimension of the creative canvas. The third dimension of the canvas,” he said. He said, “[I’m] going to use all the strengths we have as a media company, using Disney + as a platform, to get into the metaverse. But at the same time, we have something that no one else has, and that’s the physical world, our theme parks. So if metaverse means blending the physical and digital in one environment, who can do that better than Disney?”
This restructuring plan of Disney is expected to lay off about 7,000 employees in the next two months.