The Walt Disney Company has scrapped plans to build a $1 billion office complex in Florida and move over 2,000 employees.
In an email to staff on Thursday, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro stated that the firm has chosen not to build the massive office complex in Orlando due to “new leadership and changing business conditions.”
The move comes just a week after Disney CEO Bob Iger claimed a continuing battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the company’s continued commitment to the state into doubt.
On a conference call with analysts, Iger said that DeSantis and Republican lawmakers’ actions amounted to a “campaign of government retaliation” against Disney.
DeSantis signed a bill last year robbing the company of self-governing authority over its 40-square-mile complex outside Orlando after former Disney CEO Bob Chapek vowed to help repeal state legislation limiting discussions of s*xual orientation and gender identity in schools.
On last week’s conference call, Iger said rhetorically, “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?”
According to sources briefed on the matter, the company’s quarrel with DeSantis “figured prominently” in the decision to halt the project.
While DeSantis has not reacted publicly to Disney’s news, his press secretary noted, “Given the company’s financial straits, falling market cap, and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.”
You can view the official account CNBC Now Twitter post linked below-
Disney scraps plans for new Florida campus, cancels mass employee relocation https://t.co/STPcmzMImM
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) May 18, 2023
The plan to shift over 2,000 Disney jobs from California to Florida was not well received by affected employees, who reportedly quit.
D’Amaro stated in his memo that the corporation would speak with employees who had relocated to Florida personally about “the possibility of moving you back.”
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