Disney, like most companies in 2021, hopped on the metaverse hype train after Facebook changed its name to Meta and outlined bold claims to create a new digital world. Former CEO Bob Chapek established a unit focused on the company’s metaverse strategy led by Mike White, who was previously in charge of Disney’s consumer experiences and platforms. Chapek told employees in a memo at the time that White’s task was “connecting the physical and digital worlds” for Disney entertainment.
All 50 of the employees under White were let go, but White remains at the company. His new role remains unclear.
The cuts in the metaverse division were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Disney never explicitly outlined what it planned to do with the metaverse, but Chapek said in a 2021 earnings call that Disney was creating “unparalleled opportunities” for consumers to engage with its products and platforms.