Ariel Emanuel restructures Endeavor to 'protect the business' amid coronavirus crisis

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Posted: Mar 25, 2020 3:10 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 3:10 PM

Ariel Emanuel has vowed to refuse a salary for the rest of 2020. That's one of a number of measures the CEO of Endeavor, Hollywood's biggest talent agency, is taking as he is forced to restructure the business due to the impact of coronavirus.

Emanuel announced that move and other changes on Wednesday in an internal email obtained by CNN Business.

"I don't think any of us could have imagined we'd be in the place we are today," Emanuel wrote. "As we all focus inward to protect our personal health and safeguard our families, every company around the world is simultaneously faced with safeguarding the health and future of its business. We are no different. All parts of our company are feeling the effects."

Emanuel said measures will be taken that "affect compensation and some jobs across the company."

He did not outline specifics, but a source close to the matter told CNN Business that 250 people are being laid off out of Endeavor's 7,500-person workforce.

An Endeavor spokesperson did not immediately respond to CNN Business's request for comment.

United Talent Agency announced similar changes on Monday. The agency's leadership -— Jeremy Zimmer, David Kramer and Jay Sures — are also not taking a salary for the rest of the year. Employees at "every level" are also being asked to take a pay cut, according to a statement obtained by Deadline.

Endeavor was set to go public last year. But the company abandoned the effort after it did not achieve its desired valuation.

Here's the full memo to WME employees:

I don't think any of us could have imagined we'd be in the place we are today.

As we all focus inward to protect our personal health and safeguard our families, every company around the world is simultaneously faced with safeguarding the health and future of its business. We are no different. All parts of our company are feeling the effects.

With that in mind, we are in the process of assessing our operations globally to develop a plan that will protect the business while limiting the impact on as many employees as possible. In addition to the cost-cutting efforts outlined a few weeks ago, we will be implementing a number of additional measures beginning this week and through April that will affect compensation and some jobs across the company. The effects on each business will vary, and you will receive more specifics from your respective leaders, to the extent any of these decisions may impact you. As part of this, Patrick and I will not be taking a salary for the remainder of 2020.

These decisions are not being made lightly, knowing the impact they may have on you and your families during these uncertain times.

We appreciate the strength and compassion that you continue to show for one another as we navigate this challenging situation.

AE

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