In what comes as a significant blow to the wrestling industry, it has been reported that over 100 employees of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) have been laid off. Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics first brought the news to light, revealing that WWE CEO Nick Khan had concluded the layoffs as per an internal memo.
Changes are set to continue, with an all-employee in-person meeting scheduled for this Tuesday. This startling revelation follows the company’s recent post-sale to Endeavor and the subsequent merger with UFC. Among those affected, Dana Warrior from WWE’s community outreach department was reportedly laid off, as well-known names and high-level executives felt the power move’s impact.
Wrestling industry pundit, Mike Johnson reported multiple departures from key departments within the WWE. The Insights & Analytics department witnessed at least 17 departures, decimating a team of 20 plus members. Other departments that took considerable hits include Marketing, Graphic Design, and Live Events, while some departments reportedly remained unaffected.
The exodus didn’t stop at the lower echelons. High-profile names from the corporate world like Amanda Bloom, WWE Director Enterprise Master Data & Governance, and Alexa Gotthardt, WWE Manager for Digital Campaigns, were among those dismissed. Johnson’s report also stated significant figures such as Jamie Horowitz, Executive VP of Development and Digital; Catherine Newman, EVP and Head of Marketing; Andy Levine, Vice President International & Platform Strategy; Kimberly Kirkegard, Brand Director; and Saverio Brighina, Affiliate Marketing Manger were culled from the ranks.
Employees expressed anxiety amidst this drastic reshuffle. Insiders share that the manner of these layoffs, with employees being subjected to Zoom calls and immediate cut-offs, lent a palpable tension to the atmosphere. According to insiders, WWE officials strategically separated the employees, causing a lack of closure as the laid-off employees were unable to bid face-to-face goodbyes or reclaim their property personally.
Johnson adds, however, that there are no indications of talent cuts being on the cards today. The layoff focus remains primarily on members deemed redundant in the post-merger scenario with UFC. Those who work backstage and part of WWE’s production team are also reportedly not expected to be part of the layoffs, providing a semblance of relief amidst the upheaval.