DreamWorks Animation begins layoffs, number unknown

Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:09pm EST
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By Mary Milliken

GLENDALE, Calif. (Reuters) - DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc has begun a round of layoffs, a labor union said on Monday, while media reports indicated that up to 400 employees could be cut from the studio's workforce.

Months after talks to find a buyer sputtered and a few weeks after high-level management changes, the studio run by Jeffrey Katzenberg intends to "significantly reduce" the size of its workforce, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Variety said 150 to 400 employees could be affected at the Glendale and Redwood City, California campuses of the studio behind hit franchises like "How to Train Your Dragon," "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda." DreamWorks Animation employs around 2,200 people.

A spokesman for DreamWorks Animation declined to comment on the reports.

Some DreamWorks employees told their union, the Animation Guild, last week that they had been let go.

"There are layoffs going on because I have had members call me who have been laid off," said Steve Hulett, business representative at the Animation Guild.

He wrote an email to the company last week requesting more information, but had not yet received a reply.

Layoffs at DreamWorks Animation are expected to include animators, story-board artists and other production personnel and support, the L.A. Times and Variety reported.   Continued...

Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, arrives at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort July 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking