From the Orlando Sentinel –
Disney’s global technology group for its parks-and-resorts division is undergoing a sweeping reorganization that is expected to result in some employees losing their jobs.
Disney said it is eliminating some positions and replacing them with others that will help the company reach more long-term technology goals. The company would not provide specifics but said the net number of workers after the restructuring will be “similar” to its current level.
Disney is also outsourcing additional information technology jobs.
Most of the positions affected are in Orlando. Some are in Anaheim, Calif., where the company has Disneyland.
Spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said in a prepared statement Disney is “restructuring our global technology organization to support future innovation and new capabilities.”
Less than 30 percent of the technology staff works in roles Disney considers “new capabilities development.” In the new organization, that will become 65 percent.
“That says you’re moving people away from maintenance into development and you want to get into a type of situation where you’re really kind of reinventing the way you’re managing your technology,” said Robert Niles, publisher of ThemeParkInsider.com.
Employees have 90 days to apply for new positions within the company as part of the restructuring, Disney said. Disney will provide severance packages and job assistance for workers who do not qualify for other positions. Employees can also apply for roles with Disney’s vendors, the company said.
Outsourcing work is typical in information technology, said Duncan Dickson, an instructor with the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
Last year, Disney laid off two information-technology vice presidents, Laura Hall and Allen Fazio, who had worked more than 20 years for the company. Two other vice presidents with different skill sets were later hired, Disney said.
Disney has been investing heavily in technology. One of its biggest priorities has been MyMagic+, which includes a “FastPass+” reservation system allowing customers to book ride times for attractions up to two months in advance. On Tuesday it announced the latest step in that system. Guests wearing the system’s MagicBands – essentially tickets you wear on your wrist – on certain attractions can automatically view photos on their online accounts.