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BuzzFeed looks to hire a president

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

BuzzFeed is looking to hire a new president, according to an internal memo sent from CEO and co-founder Jonah Peretti to staff on Tuesday, obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The role has been vacant since 2017, when then-President Greg Coleman left the position to become a senior advisor to the company. Since, BuzzFeed has diversified its revenue to be less dependent on advertising.

  • It has relied on chief revenue officer Lee Brown to manage its ad sales and international business operations, but according to the note, Brown is departing to become Spotify’s VP, Global Head of Advertising, so operations are shifting as a result.
  • Brown's responsibilities and newer revenue lines will eventually roll up underneath the new president. 

What's new: According to the memo, starting next month, Peretti will run business meetings with BuzzFeed's SVP Ad Strategy and Partnerships Ken Blom.

  • The note says that BuzzFeed will be profitable for the second half of 2019 and "the entirety of 2020."
  • Over the next few months, Peretti says he will manage BuzzFeed's business team "in the style of a smaller startup, with many people reporting to me including sales leadership, international, commerce leadership, operations and research, with everyone stepping up to solve problems and get things done." 

Be smart: BuzzFeed's business is no longer only centered around viral content that brings in lots of ad revenue. Today, ads are only one part of the BuzzFeed business, and things like commerce, brand consulting, events, content licensing and studios all bring in significant portions of BuzzFeed's revenue.

By the numbers: Peretti says BuzzFeed is poised to have "its biggest fourth quarter in its history." He says new lines of businesses, like content licensing and commerce, that didn't exist two years ago, "represent 9-figures of revenue today."

  • At a conference last week, Peretti told Axios that BuzzFeed News isn't profitable. "The goal is to make it sustainable," Peretti said. He said that BuzzFeed's website, entertainment vertical and Tasty brands are profitable, which allows the company to invest in "something like news which is important to the DNA of company, and its brand."

Go deeper: BuzzFeed CEO's 8-step plan to "unbreak" the internet