As noted, WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon held a call meeting with company employees earlier today and confirmed that there will be cuts and furloughed employees decided soon, and that plans to move into the new company HQ in Stamford, CT has been delayed. You can read a recap from the 5 minute call by clicking here, with details on what Vince told everyone, and what is planned moving forward.
WWE issued a press release after Vince’s meeting with employees, providing an update on business plans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
WWE noted that they recently went through an extensive evaluation of operations, due to COVID-19, “current government mandated impacts” and “the media business generally.” The analysis resulted in the company taking several short-term cost reductions and clash flow improvement actions. As noted in the call report, the changes include the reduction of executive and Board member compensation, decreasing operating expenses, cutting talent expenses along with third party staffing and consulting, and the delay of the move to the new company HQ for at least 6 months.
Stay tuned for more updates on the changes. WWE is promising to release more details when they report 1st quarter 2020 results next Thursday, April 23 at 5pm ET.
You can see the full press release below:
WWE® PROVIDES COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE
STAMFORD, Conn., April 15, 2020 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) today provided an update on measures taken by the Company in response to the current impact of COVID-19 on the organization.
Due to COVID-19 and current government mandated impacts on WWE and the media business generally, the Company went through an extensive evaluation of its operations over the past several weeks. This analysis resulted in the implementation of various short-term cost reductions and cash flow improvement actions including:
* Reducing executive and board member compensation;
* Decreasing operating expenses;
* Cutting talent expenses, third party staffing and consulting;
* Deferring spend on the build out of the Company’s new headquarters for at least six months.
Given the uncertainty of the situation, the Company also identified headcount reductions and made the decision to furlough a portion of its workforce effective immediately. The decision to furlough versus permanently reduce headcount reflects the fact that the Company currently believes the furlough will be temporary in nature.
The Company’s reductions of employee compensation and headcount result in an estimated monthly savings of $4 million along with cash flow improvement of $140 million primarily from the deferral in spending on the Company’s new headquarters. Additionally, the Company has substantial financial resources, both available cash and debt capacity, which currently total approximately $0.5 billion, to manage the challenges ahead. Management continues to believe the fundamentals of the Company’s business remain strong and that WWE is well positioned to take full advantage of the changing media landscape and increasing value of live sports rights over the longer term.
The Company will provide further details when it reports its first quarter 2020 results next Thursday, April 23 after the close of the market.