BuzzFeed is set to lay off 20 staffers and then hire more than 45 new employees, the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, Lee Brown, revealed in an internal email obtained by TheWrap. The new hires will not be journalists per se, but instead be directed toward “Creative, Strategic Planning and Pricing.”
The move comes as Brown takes charge of a newly-expanded portfolio, which now includes managing the branded content, research, distribution, and marketing teams.
On Thursday, news also surfaced about Buzzfeed looking to shut down operations in France: “We are taking steps to reconsider our operation in France given the uncertain path to growth in the French market,” a spokesperson for the company told TheWrap. “We have begun a consultation process with BuzzFeed France and will follow up when we have more information to share.”
In December, BuzzFeed had to let go of dozens of other employees from the London office amid revenue shortfalls and declining traffic. Last year the company fell $70 million short of a $350 million earnings target, though the 2018 picture has been rosier.
Here’s the full text of Brown’s memo to his staff:
Thanks so much for all your hard work this year in delivering a strong Q1 and what looks like an even stronger Q2 to date. Over the past two months, I’ve put a lot of time getting my arms around the new Advertising org, to ensure we’re evolving our teams to best support our expanded product mix. Your feedback has been invaluable.
I’ve spoken with many of you directly in 1:1s and larger meetings; I’ve worked with your leaders to better understand your teams, opportunities and challenges; I’ve combed through and read every comment in our Employee Survey results; and I’ve partnered with Jonah and my direct reports to identify areas where we can invest to accelerate our growth.
A number of things jumped out at me:
We have some real areas of opportunity where we can invest in talent and resources to evolve our organization, better support our diversifying product offering, and drive new revenue.
Clarity is a word I heard a lot — many of you want more clarity around your roles, internal processes, career growth, and how you fit into the bigger picture at BuzzFeed.
We need stronger accountability across our teams, to ensure each team is truly on the hook for its goals.
There are some clear areas where we can operate more efficiently and ease the workload for our overextended teams.
I want to move quickly to address these needs to strengthen our org and make sure you’re all in a position to do your best work.
As a result, we’ll be rolling out some changes to our teams and how we operate over the next couple weeks.
These changes will involve bringing in new blood — we’ve opened more than 45 new roles across Creative, Strategic Planning, and Pricing, as well as new growth areas such as Business Development and Programmatic. Please check the BuzzFeed Jobs site and share these positions across your personal networks, or apply if you’re interested in new opportunities. In a handful of cases, the changes we’re making will unfortunately result in some roles being eliminated. Most of those eliminated positions will be converted to new open positions in other areas of the org, and we’re encouraging impacted employees to apply for new positions for which they are qualified. I ask that you please show any outgoing employees your gratitude and respect, like I know you will.
We’ll discuss further at the Advertising All Hands on June 14th. Until then, thanks for your patience, and hard work in delivering a strong 2018 for BuzzFeed so far.