BuzzFeed restructures ad sales team in effort to boost revenues

Tim Maytom

Digital publisher BuzzFeed is undergoing a series of restructures to its ad sales team. The changes are part of a pivot away from Facebook and towards other sources of revenue, including programmatic.

According to Recode, the restructure will see 20 people laid off and the possible closure of the firm's French office, but will also result in 45 new roles elsewhere. Last year, BuzzFeed laid off around 100 employees.

BuzzFeed introduced programmatic banner ads to its website and mobile apps last year after eschewing the format for years in favour of native content marketing partnerships. The restructure will likely result in an increased focus on formats like this, as well as the firm's growing commerce business.

The restructure has been led by BuzzFeed's chief revenue officer Lee Brown, who in a memo to staff said that the changes would "involve bringing in new blood" and that "most of those eliminated positions will be converted to new open positions in other areas of the org".

"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," said Brown. "We have some real areas of opportunity where we can invest in talent and resources to evolve our organisation, better support our diversifying product offering, and drive new revenue.

"There are some clear areas where we can operate more efficiently and ease the workload for our overextended teams. As a result, we'll be rolling out some changes to our teams and how we operate over the next couple weeks."