By: Ellen Cans
Even Hollywood with all its glamour and lights cannot evade the crippling effects of the ongoing pandemic and ensuing shutdowns.
Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, an illustrious Hollywood entertainment and media agency, is struggling to survive the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. As reported by the NY Post , he is noiselessly making plans to cut costs at Endeavor, even after already slimming down the entertainment conglomerate earlier on in the pandemic. In April, the company, feeling the hit from the shuttered public events, undertook widespread pay cuts, as well as furloughs and layoffs of about 1,500 employees, or 20 percent of its staff.
Emanuel, 59, the Chicago-born businessman with an estimated net worth of $450 million, runs Endeavor, the parent company of Hollywood talent agency WME, which reps superstars like Matt Damon, Oprah Winfrey and Christian Bale to name a few. The company also owns the Miss Universe beauty pageant and a majority stake in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
As per the Post, with Covid-19 dragging on for the past eight months, Emanuel and Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell are looking into new ways to keep the company finances flowing—including possibly selling off investments in profitable startups as well as low-growth investments. It may also potentially let go of hundreds of more employees next year, as per an inside source, although the company denies such intentions.
“We’re fortunate to have a diverse portfolio of businesses and investments that have helped us mitigate the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, protect our employees, and ensure the long-term health of our company,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “While we will always remain nimble in light of changing economic conditions and explore various options to strengthen our position, we are not currently anticipating additional layoffs.”
With most public events, concerts, tournaments and Hollywood production still on hold, Emanuel and Whitesell are understandable trying to trim the firm’s venture capital unit, which purchased pre-IPO stakes in companies such as Uber, and Lyft, sources told The Post. Its portfolio included Epic Games, maker of Fortnite, which Endeavor sold for about $80 million in April to help with liquidity. One source told the Post that the firm is now considering selling stakes in up to 10 more of its companies, hoping to raise another $50 million. Those sales may possibly include social media platform Pinterest, beauty startup Glossier, online education Web site MasterClass, and/or healthy dog food delivery service Ollie, among others.