BuzzFeed's people chief exits months after redundancy push

The exec oversaw several of the company's recent efforts to reduce its workforce.

BuzzFeed Chief People Officer Lenke Taylor is leaving the business months after overseeing its significant redundancy drive.

Taylor, who has been heading up the HR function at the online publisher for three and a half years, will leave this week.

A BuzzFeed spokesperson confirmed the news to Campaign Asia-Pacific: "Lenke will be leaving BuzzFeed at the end of the month and we’ve begun the search for a new head of people."

Taylor joined the business in 2016 as its first chief people officer. She was formerly Google’s head of people operations for business functions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and has held various human resources roles in NBCUniversal and its news channel CNBC.

During her more than three years at BuzzFeed, Taylor has overseen a number of redundancy drives.

In November 2017 the business announced plans to reduce its US headcount by 8 percent, equivalent to around 100 roles, with the cuts focused on business and sales functions as part of a reorganization.

One month later plans emerged to layoff a third of its U.K. newsroom plus another 22 staff from other sections of the publisher.

In 2018, the publisher shuttered its podcasting division, resulting in a handful of layoffs.

The most significant redundancy drive arrived in January this year when CEO Jonah Peretti revealed that the business would reduce its workforce by 15 percent, or about 250 employees.

The layoffs attracted criticism when it emerged employees working outside of California were not offered payouts for their accrued paid time off.

The BuzzFeed News Staff Council penned an open letter to Taylor, Peretti and editor-in-chief Ben Smith, signed by more than 400 employees, demanding staff get paid for unused vacation days.

The decision was eventually reversed after Taylor and Peretti met with the Staff Council.

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