The left-wing media company BuzzFeed has been forced to lay off around 100 employees and eight percent of its U.S. workforce as part of a restructuring plan after the company missed revenue targets, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In a memo to employees, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti confirmed that the company would have to “say goodbye to some talented colleagues” as part of a restructuring effort centered around the company’s business team and bureau in the United Kingdom. Peretti said:
As our strategy evolves, we need to evolve our organization, too — particularly our Business team, which was built to support direct sold advertising but will need to bring in different, more diverse expertise to support these new lines of business. Unfortunately, this means we have to say goodbye to some talented colleagues whose work has helped us tremendously.
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) November 29, 2017
Peretti added that the company’s model of “native ads” was not as profitable as anticipated, and they would instead sell traditional digital ads on its website, among other revenue strategies.
The shakeup comes as the company is forced to re-examine its business model, particularly its advertising revenue, after falling 20 percent short of their $350 million revenue goal, which has damaged its chances of an IPO.
In January, the company suffered a reputational hit after publishing an unverified and likely false dossier of lurid accusations against President-elect Donald Trump, with Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith adding that there was “serious reason to doubt the allegations.”