BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg Leaving the Company

Helped Build BuzzFeed's Revenue Model

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Jon Steinberg is leaving BuzzFeed, where he was president and COO since 2010.
Jon Steinberg is leaving BuzzFeed, where he was president and COO since 2010.

BuzzFeed President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Steinberg is leaving his position after four years at the fast-growing website. He will move into an advisory role at BuzzFeed for the next six months before leaving BuzzFeed altogether, the company said Monday.

Mr. Steinberg is a former Google executive, who joined BuzzFeed in 2010 after less than a year with Polaris Venture Partners. He helped build the site's revenue strategy of helping to create and spread content for brands, such as sponsored lists and videos intended to be highly shareable.

"As you know, Jon was instrumental in building BuzzFeed into the great company we are today, joining as the 15th employee in a tiny SoHo office, defining and growing our innovative social content advertising products, helping grow the company to 500 employees all over the world and building a strong, profitable operation," BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said in a memo to staff.

No successor has been named. A BuzzFeed spokeswoman said the company has "a deep bench, very talented business people and the company is in a great place."

"We are growing and continuing our mission of building a media company that is anchored around social, and a business that is transforming the advertising industry," Mr. Peretti said in his memo.

Mr. Steinberg told Ad Age that the reason he's leaving BuzzFeed is "to do something else, something entrepreneurial in the media space." When it was pointed out that BuzzFeed could still be considered entrepreneurial and remains squarely in the media space, he said, "I'd like to get back to working on some of the ideas."

In addition to advising BuzzFeed, Mr. Steinberg will join the venture capital fund Lerer Ventures as an advisor. Lerer Ventures is a BuzzFeed investor. The company's manager, Ken Lerer, is BuzzFeed's chairman.

Last week, Mr. Lerer was on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt New York conference where he hinted at an initial public offering for BuzzFeed, according to New York Business Journal. Mr. Steinberg declined to comment on BuzzFeed's financing, but did say it had nothing to do with his departure.

Mr. Steinberg was named one of Ad Age's Media Mavens in 2012.

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