Disney nixes its metaverse team: WSJ

Quick Take

  • Disney has nixed its metaverse team as part of a broader round of layoffs, according to the WSJ. 
  • Its metaverse lead — former Apollo CTO Mike White — will remain at the company.

The Walt Disney Company has nixed its metaverse team as part of a wider round of layoffs, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the situation.

The mass media conglomerate cut a small team of about 50 people developing strategies in the metaverse — a catchall phrase referring to blockchain-enabled virtual worlds — as part of a broader restructuring to reduce headcount by approximately 7,000 people.

As reported by The Block in February 2022, Disney hired Mike White to lead its metaverse efforts. At the time, a memo penned by CEO Bob Chapek noted that the former Apollo Group CTO would be tasked with connecting the company's "physical and digital worlds."


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"This is a very top-of-mind thing for us because we are continuing over time to augment our skills and the types of people that we attract into The Walt Disney Company to reflect the aggressive and ambitious technology agenda that we have," said Chapek at the time. 

White will remain at the company, according to the Journal's report, though it is not yet clear what his role will be. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Frank Chaparro is Host of The Scoop podcast and Director of Special Projects. He also writes a biweekly newsletter. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].


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