Comcast NBCUniversal completed its $3.8 billion acquisition of Dreamworks Animation last month, and yesterday it announced the first major change at the company: the elimination of around 200 employees.

Most of the employees who will be laid off are from the corporate and management side, according to a memo by Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, that was distributed to staff yesterday. “We have begun sharing organizational decisions that will result in the elimination of approximately 200 positions at our Glendale campus,” Shell wrote. “These changes are focused in the corporate overhead groups as well as distribution and consumer products, areas where we can fully integrate operations with NBCUniversal.”

While such layoffs are standard procedure after corporate acquisitions and necessary to eliminate redundant jobs, there has been concern among studio employees that there could be an even larger wave of layoffs if NBCUni decides to restructure the way that the studio makes films. The company hasn’t yet revealed any plans for the future of Dreamworks Animation.

For the time being, the studio has a full slate of films that are in various stages of production, all launched when Jeffrey Katzenberg was still running the company. These films include Trolls (November 4, 2016), The Boss Baby (March 31, 2017), Captain Underpants (June 2, 2017), and in 2018, Larrikins, How to Train Your Dragon 3, and The Croods 2.

Employees in this current round of layoffs started receiving their pink slips this week, according to Shell’s memo. The full memo, first reprinted by Deadline, can be read below:

To: DWA
Subject: A Message From Jeff Shell

Dear Colleagues:

As we move along in the process of integrating our companies, the leadership team will continually evaluate the needs of our business to ensure we are best positioned to meet our goal of being a leader in premium animation content across all platforms.  As indicated on Day One, we remain committed to transparency and, over the next few months, will communicate about any changes expected as a part of the integration with NBCUniversal.

To that end, today we have begun sharing organizational decisions that will result in the elimination of approximately 200 positions at our Glendale campus. These changes are focused in the corporate overhead groups as well as distribution and consumer products, areas where we can fully integrate operations with NBCUniversal.

Those who will be impacted by these decisions will be notified this week and many will be working with us over the next several months as a part of the transition. These are difficult but necessary moves as we work to integrate our organizations and we will be as generous as possible to those who will be leaving the company.

We know you will join us in supporting your colleagues during this time of transition and we too will be exploring other opportunities for them and providing career placement counseling to help minimize the impact.

Looking forward, we are excited about the incredible opportunities ahead for our combined organization and we will work together to make them a reality.

Thanks for your continued hard work,
Jeff Shell

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