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Disney cancels plans for $1 billion Florida campus

On a conference call last week, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company’s ongoing dispute with Gov. Ron DeSantis raised questions about Disney’s continued investment in Florida.

The Walt Disney Co. is cancelling plans to build a nearly $1 billion office complex in Florida and move more than 2,000 jobs to the state.

Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro told employees in an email Thursday that the company had decided not to move forward with the massive office complex in Orlando because of “new leadership and changing business conditions.”

The announcement comes a week after Disney CEO Bob Iger said an ongoing dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised questions about the company’s continued investment there. In a conference call with analysts, Iger said actions by DeSantis and Republican lawmakers amounted to a “campaign of government retaliation” against Disney.

DeSantis signed measures stripping the company of self-governing authority over its 40-square-mile property near Orlando after former Disney CEO Bob Chapek pledged to help overturn a state law banning discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

On last week’s conference call, Iger asked rhetorically, “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?”

The decision to relocate more than 2,000 Disney jobs from California to Florida wasn’t popular with affected employees, some of whom reportedly quit. In his note to staff, D’Amaro said the company would talk individually with employees who have already moved to Florida and about “the possibility of moving you back.”