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Disney offers voluntary buyouts to 600 executives

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The Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday it has offered voluntary buyout packages to about 600 executives at its U.S. theme parks unit.

The offer was made to employees with titles of director, vice president and higher, generally those with six-figure salaries, and gave them until Feb. 6 to opt in. The company did not provide an estimate of how much money it expected to save with the buyouts.

Disney did not disclose its targets for the program, but told executives in a letter that "an involuntary layoff with a lesser severance package will be required if our goals are not met."

The move was the first buyout package offered by a Disney operating unit since Chief Executive Robert Iger said in November the company would be looking to pare operating costs in response to lower attendance at its parks.

"This immediate action is designed to allow us to effectively manage our business while we continue to deliver an outstanding guest experience and remain focused on achieving long term growth, " Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Executive Vice President Leslie Goodman said in a statement.

The parks unit has already been trimming some costs, such as reducing the frequency of some shows in times of lower attendance and adjusting operating hours in slower periods.

Disney is set to report its earnings for the first quarter, which ended in December, on Feb. 3.

See also:
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Teams Up with Verizon to Bring Mobile Magic to U.S. Parks
Toy Story Mania! Launches With Four Dimensions of Fun and a Big Boost from Buzz at Disneyland Resort

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