Paramount Pictures is eliminating 110 positions, about 5% of its workforce, across some divisions in the company. In a memo sent to all employees Tuesday morning, October 1, the studio cites "an increasingly competitive environment" as the reason behind the massive cut.
The layoffs would affect the departments of finance, human resources, information technology, international home video distribution, legal and marketing. Positions are being let go at Paramount's Los Angeles studio-lot headquarters and in several international offices.
"Change is always difficult and we never take these steps lightly," the memo reads. "We are confident that these changes will allow us to manage our business with greater speed and flexibility and fully capitalize on opportunities in the global entertainment market."
Paramount, under Viacom Inc. who is also parent of the Nickelodeon and MTV cable networks, previously laid off 120 workers in October 2011. The company employed more than 3,000 workers in late 2008 but now has around 2,200, fewer than any of the big Hollywood studios.
The company has a challenging year but manages to land at the top six among the largest studios this year. According to Box Office Mojo, they got $727.8 million in domestic ticket sales with its major money makers coming from "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "World War Z".
Upcoming releases from the studio include critics' darling "Nebraska", Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, long-overdue sequel to Will Ferrell's classic comedy "Anchorman: The Legend Continues", and Jason Reitman's "Labor Day" starring Kate Winslet.
Speaking to investors at the recent Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Viacom's CEO Philipp Dauman said the movie studio would focus on "low risk," even with tentpole projects like "Transformers" and "Mission: Impossible" which proved to be box office hits. They would bring in "co-financing" and "greenlight films with consumer products potential."
Paramount is not the only giant company announcing layoffs this year. In August, Disney/ABC Television Group stated they would let go of their 175 workers.