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BuzzFeed to lay off as many as 100 people after report of IPO delay and revenue shortfall

  • BuzzFeed News reporter Steven Perlberg shared a memo from the company's CEO, Jonah Peretti.
  • It said BuzzFeed will restructure its business team, resulting in layoffs and the transition of the company's president to the role of senior advisor.
Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti
Getty Images
Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti

BuzzFeed will restructure its business team, resulting in layoffs of about 100 people, and the transition of the company's president to the role of senior advisor.

Company CEO Jonah Peretti said in a memo Wednesday that BuzzFeed needed to shift away from direct advertising sales to more diverse revenue streams. The company will search for a chief operating officer with that goal in mind, Peretti wrote.

BuzzFeed News reporter Steven Perlberg first shared the memo.

New leadership would come as President Greg Coleman transitions to an advisory role. He was president for 3½ years, Peretti wrote.

The layoffs, previously reported by The Wall Street Journal, follow an earlier Journal report that BuzzFeed's revenue may fall up to 20 percent short of forecasts this year. The revenue shortfall is expected to delay BuzzFeed's hotly anticipated initial public offering, according to the Journal's sources.

At that time, BuzzFeed told CNBC: "BuzzFeed grew revenue, content views, unique visitors, and time spent in 2017; we've expanded our ad offering with new products ... and rapidly diversified revenue through commerce, licensing, and development for TV and film."

While the wave of layoffs — reportedly affecting 100 employees — may not be as large as some that have hit the media industry, BuzzFeed was widely considered a digital media darling that was growing rapidly.

BuzzFeed was not immediately available to comment on Tuesday's layoff news.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is a minority investor in BuzzFeed.