As a result of what they call “changing business conditions,” Disney is scrapping plans to open a new employee campus in Lake Nona, Florida. According to CNBC, it is believed that the decision was made after tensions continue to escalate with Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis which has brought a series of disputes between the governor and the massive company.
Disney’s original plan for their new development in Florida was to construct the new campus and ask more than 2,000 California-based employees to relocate to Florida. Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products division, informed the company’s employees of the change but reassured them that they were still expanding. D’Amaro shared that Disney still plans to invest $17 billion in Florida over the next ten years which will include around 13,000 jobs in addition to the 75,000 people already employed in the state.
Representatives for DeSantis shared that the decision to stop plans on the Lake Nona campus did not come as a surprise. They said that plans were being discussed for the campus two years ago, but the state was unsure whether plans would proceed and nothing ever came to fruition.
The feud between DeSantis and Disney has grown since DeSantis passed legislation revoking Disney’s self-governing status. According to CNBC, “the company filed a lawsuit accusing DeSantis and the new board members of its special district of carrying out a campaign of political retribution against the entertainment giant.” DeSantis targeted the special district after Disney publicly criticized his parental rights bill, called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics. Since then, Disney has taken measures to advance their agenda in defiance of what they see as a politically motivated attack on their company.