BuzzFeed Australia founding editor Simon Crerar has been laid off in a global cost-cutting move.
As reported in January, BuzzFeed has begun scaling back its staff worldwide in a move that is estimated to affect roughly 200 people.
Crerar, who had been with Buzzfeed Australia since its launch in 2013, will be the first of 11 local jobs to be axed.
Crerar said on Twitter: “Like so many talented folks around the world, I have been laid off by BuzzFeed.
“It has been the most exciting, fun, fulfilling job of my life.
“I’m sad, but also very thankful”.
In a thread of tweets, Crerar went on to describe the moment he first learned of the position, saying that he “almost fell into the dunny” when he saw that BuzzFeed were hiring an Australian editor, and expressed gratitude for his staff and the support he had received from readers over the past five years.
Fellow staffers voiced their support on the platform, with BuzzFeed Australia editor-at-large Jenna Guillaume saying: “If you want to know the secret to BuzzFeed it’s pretty simple: hire a bunch of creative, talented, passionate, driven weirdos and give them space and freedom to experiment, iterate, collaborate and do their thing.
“[Crerar] did exactly that here in Oz and it’s been golden”.
Of Crerar, BuzzFeed UK media and politics reporter (formerly political editor at BuzzFeed Australia) Mark Di Stefano tweeted: “Keating said there were three types of politicians: straight men, fixers and maddies.
“[Crerar] is completely mad. I owe him more than anything.
“I cannot wait to see what he does next”.
The cuts to BuzzFeed’s workforce come as a result of what CEO Jonah Peretti described as a lack of growth.
In a staff-wide email, Peretti said: “Unfortunately, revenue growth by itself isn’t enough to be successful in the long run.
“The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our destiny, without ever needing to raise funding again”.
Prior to BuzzFeed Australia, Crerar had spent twelve years with News Corp in Australia and the UK.