BuzzFeed is cutting 15% of its staff

  • BuzzFeed is cutting 15% of its staff, according to an internal memo sent by CEO Jonah Peretti to company employees Wednesday.
  • The decision could cost 250 employees their jobs, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • “We are confident the changes we are making will put us on a firm foundation and allow us to invest and grow sustainably for years to come,” Peretti said in the memo.

BuzzFeed is cutting 15% of its staff, CEO Jonah Peretti said in a memo sent to employees Wednesday.

The digital publisher is laying off the employees in order to get its costs in line with revenue, and the cuts will happen next week, Peretti said. The layoffs could affect 250 employees, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal, which was the first to report the news.

“Even though I’m confident this is the right business decision, it is upsetting and disappointing,” Peretti said in the memo, which was obtained by Business Insider.

BuzzFeed’s move could be an effort to better position itself financially for a merger with another digital media outlet, according to The Journal.

In his memo, Peretti cast the layoffs as an effort to make BuzzFeed’s business more sustainable. Over the last year the company has “diversified” its revenue, and its business has grown by “double digits,” but it needed to reduce its costs so it could control its own future, he said.

“We are confident the changes we are making will put us on a firm foundation and allow us to invest and grow sustainably for years to come,” he said.


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BuzzFeed will give employees more information on the layoffs by Monday, Peretti said.

Here is the full memo obtained by Business Insider:

Hello BuzzFeeders,

I’m writing with sad news: we are doing layoffs at BuzzFeed next week. We will be making a 15% overall reduction in headcount across the company. I’m sending this tonight because I wanted you to hear it from me directly instead of from the press. Over the past few months, we’ve done extensive work examining the trends in our business and the evolving economics of the digital platforms. We’ve developed a good understanding of where we can consolidate our teams, focus in on the content that is working, and achieve the right cost structure to support our multi-revenue model. We are confident the changes we are making will put us on a firm foundation and allow us to invest and grow sustainably for years to come. I’m so proud of what our team accomplished over the last year, including diversifying our revenue, and growing our business double digits. Unfortunately, revenue growth by itself isn’t enough to be successful in the long run. The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our own destiny, without ever needing to raise funding again. These changes will allow us to be the clear winner in the market as the economics of digital media continue to improve. I’ll share more about our future structure in a few days, but today I want to focus on what will be a difficult week, especially for the people who are leaving the company. These are talented people, friends, and valued colleagues, who’ve made huge contributions to our success, and who’ve done nothing wrong. Even though I’m confident this is the right business decision, it is upsetting and disappointing. On a personal note, I’ve never thought about my job as “just business.” I care about the people at BuzzFeed more than anything other than my family. This will be a tough week for all of us and I realise it will be much worse for the people losing their jobs. To them, I want to say thank you, I’m sorry our work together is ending this way, and I hope we get to work together again in the future. Our loss will be to the benefit of other organisations where I know you will go on to make formidable contributions. We will be back to you with specifics on the process by Monday at the latest. Thank you all in advance for your compassion and kindness as we go through this process. Jonah

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal at +1 (209) 730-3387, email at [email protected], or Twitter DM at @nickbastone.

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