Tuesday, October 18, was a dark day at UFC headquarters. The company executed a round of layoffs, which is expected to total somewhere between 60 and 80 employees, when all is said and done. The total is expected to account for somewhere shy of 15-percent of the company’s current global workforce, although none of the promotion’s offices are expected to be shut down.
It wasn’t a complete surprise, as layoffs frequently take place when a large company is purchased.
The UFC was purchased by WME|IMG for a reported $4.2 billion in July. As with any new ownership, WME|IMG had many of its own ideas about running things, which led to Tuesday’s round of layoffs, which included numerous high level executives.
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Chief among those revealed on Tuesday were Chief Global Brand Officer Garry Cook, Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Asia Ken Berger, and Senior Vice President of Global Content Jamie Pollack.
“This has been a magnificent experience with one of the greatest sports enterprises of the modern day. I am thankful and proud to have played a part in their brand story working with Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White, Lawrence Epstein, and all the talented individuals at the UFC,” Cook said in a statement to MMAWeekly.com following his release.
“With the new leadership from WME/IMG, the next era of continuing to redefine the global sports landscape is very exciting. I wish them well delivering on their vision for success.”
Prior to Tuesday’s shake-up, several other UFC executives had already decided to leave the company.
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