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Annapurna Pictures Hit With Layoffs, Including CFO James Pong – Variety



Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Footage has enacted a spherical of layoffs, reaching as excessive as chief monetary officer James Pong, insiders instructed Selection.

Along with Pong, 4 inventive executives had been eradicated, two from the movie division and two from tv, and two assistants had been additionally let go, in keeping with sources. These seven staff symbolize practically ten % of the workers, mentioned one other insider.

An Annapurna spokesperson confirmed a “modest variety of layoffs because of the present financial local weather.” Along with layoffs, senior management will even take pay cuts to assist shoulder the monetary burden.

The fiscal conservatism comes as a direct marching order from Larry Ellison, Megan’s billionaire father and the founding father of Oracle. One individual aware of Annapurna mentioned overhead stays a priority of Paul Marinelli, Larry Ellison’s quantity two and head of his monetary property Lawrence Investments. An organization insider disputed this, saying cuts had been made within the identify of effectivity.

Annapurna is already a considerably leaner operation in the present day than it was a yr in the past, having spun out its theatrical distribution arm into the free-standing United Artists Releasing. Final fall, the corporate broke up its New York workplace and relegated departments like theater and movie to work at home.

Selection reported solely final summer time that Annapurna, strapped with tens of tens of millions in materials losses from Oscar gamers like “Destroyer” and “Vice,” had resolved greater than $200 million in debt from lenders and was forging forward with financing from Ellison alone.

With no distribution mechanism, Annapurna has stopped buying movies (not that many festivals are going ahead throughout the coronavirus pandemic) and is specializing in improvement. The movie unit, on which the corporate constructed its model, is dormant. Tv is lively, with ordered tasks like a scripted model of the Netflix doc “The Staircase” starring Harrison Ford. A number of different collection are confirmed however not but introduced, sources mentioned.

Annapurna joins a quickly rising record of leisure labels affected by COVID-19, most just lately Blumhouse Productions. Bigger outlets, just like the juggernaut Walt Disney Firm, and most expertise companies have been severely impacted in wake of the virus.

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