At least 35 WWE employees were let go today, according to Wrestlenomics.
As noted, WWE’s production and digital divisions were hit hard today with departures. Multiple divisions were being “folded together” and longtime WWE employee Kevin Dunn, who is the Executive Vice President of TV Production, is set to oversee those divisions moving forward. It was noted that one of the reasons for so many cuts is that WWE has determined there were too many redundancies across multiple departments. For example, there were two graphics departments – one for WWE TV production and one for digital. Those departments can be easily merged into one, meaning WWE can get that work done with a smaller group of employees.
We noted before that former Executive Vice President of WWE Advanced Media Group Jaylar Donlan was cut today after more than 8 years with the company, while Brian Pellegatto, who was working as the Senior Vice President of Production, was cut after just under 9 years with WWE.
In an update, Wrestlenomics reports that Jay Rosenstock was also let go after working as an Executive Vice President of International. He had been with WWE since October 2019, according to his LinkedIn. Makham Nolan, who was working as the Vice President of Media Operations, was also let go. He had been with WWE since April 2019, according to LinkedIn.
Longtime WWE employee James Wortman was also let go today. He had been with the company since May 2010, most recently working as Content Director. Wortman took to Twitter and commented on his departure this afternoon.
“This isn’t something I expected to say today or on any day, but I am no longer with WWE after 11 years,” he wrote. “Thank you to all of the friends I’ve made during that time and to the talented people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. It’s not goodbye, it’s ‘see you down the road.'”
WWE has a meeting scheduled for all employees on Wednesday, and it’s likely that today’s lay-offs will be addressed then.
The Wrestlenomics report notes that WWE’s TV department and the Advanced Media Group are merging, which is said to be the end-result of a struggle between the two departments. TV has been led by Dunn, while Donlan led the Advanced Media Group.
It was noted earlier, via PWInsider, that today’s departures are also a ripple effect of the company running under the COVID-19 pandemic, and seeing that they can get by with a much smaller number of employees across the board. A source noted that throughout WWE history, they have shown that they can “cut to the bone” if needed, and still get things done. This is another example of that.
Former WWE on-air talent Cathy Kelley, who worked for WWE Digital from February 2016 through February 2020, took to Twitter today and reacted to the departures.
“my brain can’t comprehend and my heart is fucking breaking for all my friends. along with being great humans, everyone behind the scenes at wwe digital worked their asses off to build a huge money making brand and don’t get near the credit they deserve,” she wrote.
Stay tuned for more on today’s WWE departures. You can see the tweets from Wortman and Kelley below:
This isn’t something I expected to say today or on any day, but I am no longer with WWE after 11 years.
Thank you to all of the friends I’ve made during that time and to the talented people I’ve had the pleasure to work with.
It’s not goodbye, it’s “see you down the road.” pic.twitter.com/0PdU4VWKFt
— James Wortman (@JamesWortman) May 25, 2021
my brain can’t comprehend and my heart is fucking breaking for all my friends. along with being great humans, everyone behind the scenes at wwe digital worked their asses off to build a huge money making brand and don’t get near the credit they deserve
— Cathy Kelley (@catherinekelley) May 25, 2021