CAA to lay off around 60 employees (report)

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has reportedly implemented a round of layoffs.

That’s according to Deadline, which first reported on Thursday (August 10), citing sources, that about 60 employees across the company’s various divisions are expected to be affected by the move.

The employees, (who Deadline has since reported in a subsequent article to have been notified about the layoffs), constitute a small portion of the agency’s expansive global workforce, numbering in the thousands. 

Deadline reported in a separate story on Friday (August 11) that the affected departments include TV Lit, music and IT, while there have also been reports about layoffs in the talent department.

The news follows a report from last month that CAA is in talks to sell a majority stake to billionaire François-Henri Pinault in a $7 billion deal.

These workforce adjustments are said to be a culmination of a lengthy evaluation process that commenced months prior, preceding the Writers Guild of America’s strike action on May 2. 

Deadline said it is evident that ongoing disruptions caused by the strikes involving writers and actors have considerably impacted talent agencies and management firms, influencing the decision-making process.

These developments arise a month and a half after the one-year anniversary of CAA’s acquisition of ICM Partners. Leading up to the anniversary, concerns were raised as junior, non-partner agents from ICM had been integrated into the CAA fold under one-year contracts at the time of the merger. 

Sources told Deadline that the layoffs are unrelated to that merger and do not discriminate against former ICM agents when compared to their CAA counterparts.

The reported layoffs comes a month after Bloomberg reported that CAA is in talks to sell a majority stake in its business to French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, whose family is behind the Kering group. Kering owns luxury brands and fashion houses including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo and Qeelin.

That deal could reportedly fetch CAA ‘a valuation of at least $7 billion.’

Deadline said that, unlike other major Hollywood talent agencies, CAA’s staff reductions are notable amid the work stoppages. Competing agencies have managed to navigate the ongoing Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes without resorting to layoffs.

CAA was established in 1975 by five agents who were previously part of the William Morris Agency, later becoming William Morris Endeavor (WME). The founding agents included Michael S. Rosenfeld, Michael Ovitz, Ronald Meyer, William Haber, and Rowland Perkins.

Today, CAA represents a range of talent in film, television, music, theatre, video games, sports, and digital content. It also represents some of the most renowned global touring artists in the music industry.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CAA maintains a significant presence in key cities such as New York, Nashville, London, Beijing, and Shanghai. It also operates offices in several other locations worldwide, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Geneva, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Memphis, Miami, Munich, Orlando, Stockholm, and Toronto.

In 2010, TPG Capital acquired a 35% ownership stake in CAA, subsequently increasing its stake to an estimated 53% in 2014.

In September 2017, CAA disclosed that Temasek had obtained a minority stake in the agency. Following the Temasek investment, TPG Capital continued to hold the majority position in CAA.

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