ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish Says Post-Merger ‘Streamlining’ Continues Amid Rumors Of Impending Layoffs

As rumors of impending layoffs continue to swirl around ViacomCBS, CEO Bob Bakish sent a memo to employees saying the company is continuing “to integrate and streamline our operations, manage our costs as diligently as we can, and follow through on our committed post-merger synergy targets.”

Upcoming layoffs are rumored to be 500 to 700. Bakish didn’t mention new staff cuts but acknowledged ones that are ongoing, noting that, “some of us are saying goodbye to incredible team members and friends.” ViacomCBS has targeted $750 million in cost synergies. Bakish said he’ll update staff after the company reports first quarter earnings next Thursday, May 7.

In late February, Deadline reported that ViacomCBS had started to lay off a number of people across the combine organization for an estimated combined headcount reduction of about 100 in Feb.-March. That followed an initial round of cuts after the merger closed in early December.

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READ BAKISH MEMO BELOW:

Team,

I know these past weeks have been challenging, and have forced us to deal with major disruptions in our personal and professional lives.  And I know that even before the coronavirus pandemic, we were already in a period of significant change to integrate our newly combined company – work that is helping us weather this crisis, creatively adapt and strengthen the resiliency of our business.

As I said at our last Bob Live, however, it’s critical that we continue these efforts to integrate and evolve ViacomCBS to remain competitive now and for the future.  This means continuing to integrate and streamline our operations, manage our costs as diligently as we can, and follow through on our committed post-merger synergy targets.

Throughout this transformation, we want to be as supportive of our employees as possible, particularly given the circumstances we’re in.  Some of us are saying goodbye to incredible team members and friends – people who have made lasting contributions to the success of our company and have enriched our culture.  I want to assure you that we are focused on making their transitions easier at this time, while supporting the needs of all our employees and their families.

I realize you may have questions, and I look forward to answering them, and providing another update on our progress at Bob Live shortly after we report earnings next week.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued hard work and focus, and for everything you do to make our company better for our audiences, partners and communities around the world.

Please stay healthy and safe.

Best,
Bob

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