A new battle is raging between the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis (and presumptive pre-candidate for president), and the company with the highest number of jobs in the South Peninsula: Disney World. But this is a chapter that directly affects pocket book Florida.
It all started with Disney’s criticism of the so-called law “Don’t say like me.” Since then, the Governor has engaged in a series of fights with the Company, ranging from stripping them of their decades-old private territory, to publicly humiliating them and threatening to build a prison across from the Gardens. Some consider it a fair fight, while others see it as a personal vendetta.
A few months ago, Disney announced with great fanfare the construction of a new complex in Florida, which will serve as a campus for the company, and which they will rent. 2000 employees With an average salary of $120,000 per year. However, after disagreements with the governor and a lawsuit the company filed against the DeSantis government, Disney announced it was canceling those plans entirely.
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In 2021, the company has budgeted to invest no less than $864 million just in building said campus. With inflation, the cost of the project was now expected to exceed $1 billion.
So far, Disney’s corporate campus is in California, and many of the employees working there have already expressed their reluctance to move to Florida. Although it would be very convenient for them financially due to tax differences between the two states, employees have expressed dissatisfaction with DeSantis’ leadership.
Due to the significant changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project, including new leadership in our company and a significant change in working conditions, we have decided not to proceed with the construction of our campus. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but we believe it was the right one,” Disney Parks President Josh D’Amaro said in a statement.
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D’Amaro isn’t the only CEO who has spoken publicly about his poor relationship with Governor DeSantis. Last week, Disney CEO Bob Iger publicly questioned Florida’s interest in the company continuing to invest in the southern state. It should be noted that Disney is the major private employer in Florida, with more than 75,000 employees locally, and that it is the main tourist attraction in the area. In the company’s forecast $17 billion will be invested in Florida in the next decade, mainly in new hotels. All of that is in doubt now, at least until DeSantis changes his tune about the company.
Iger publicly asked, “Is it in the interest of the state for Disney to keep investing and keep hiring people and paying taxes in Florida?”
Rumors are growing that DeSantis will announce next week that he is seeking to be the Republican presidential nominee. Many believe he is using this confrontation with Disney as part of his platform to increase his name recognition nationally.