BuzzFeed is planning to cut 15% of its staff, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday.
The decision could cost 250 employees their jobs with the digital publisher, people familiar with the matter told The Journal.
Sources also said BuzzFeed’s choice to trim its workforce could be an effort by the company to get closer to profitability ahead of a potential merger with another digital media outlet.
An internal memo sent from BuzzFeed CEO Johah Peretti on Wednesday confirmed the round of layoffs.
“We are doing layoffs at BuzzFeed next week,” Peretti wrote.
“Over the past few months, we’ve done extensive work examining the trends in our business and evolving economics of the digital platforms… 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.”
In the memo, Peretti points out that over the last year BuzzFeed had “diversified” its revenue and grew its business “double digits” but “unfortunately, revenue growth by itself isn’t enough to be successful in the long run.”
The BuzzFeed chief exec said he would have more details regarding the layoffs by next Monday at the latest.
Here is the full memo obtained by Business Insider:
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 realize 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 organizations 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
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