In the latest wave of layoffs to hit the digital media biz, Business Insider said it will cut 8% of its staff in a restructuring aimed at positioning the company for growth.
Business Insider CEO Barbara Peng announced the job cuts in a memo to staffers Thursday. “We have already begun to refocus teams and invest in areas that drive outsize value for our core audience. Unfortunately, this also means we need to scale back in some areas of our organization,” she wrote.
The cuts come after Business Insider in April 2023 told employees that it was laying off about 10% of staff.
Founded in 2007 as Business Insider by former Wall Street analyst CEO Henry Blodget, the company was acquired in 2015 by Axel Springer, one of Europe’s largest digital publishing and media conglomerates, for $343 million.
“We’re saying goodbye to wonderful colleagues who have helped build Business Insider into what it is today,” Peng wrote. “We are deeply grateful for their passion, energy, and teamwork and we appreciate them.”
The Insider Union, affiliated with NewsGuild of New York, said 22 of its members as well as “many of our non-union colleagues” were laid off. “From the timing of today’s announcement — not even a month after our layoff moratorium expired — it’s clear that management has been eager to lay more of us off,” Emma LeGault, unit chair for Insider Union and a senior copy editor for Business Insider, said in a statement.
Business Insider employees who are getting laid off will receive a minimum of 13 weeks pay and medical coverage through May 2024, according to Peng. The company also will offer career support services including coaching sessions, resume review and training on networking, interviewing and negotiations, she added.
Peng, who joined Business Insider in 2015, was promoted to CEO last November, as Blodget moved into the role of board chair. Prior to BI, Peng was director of data strategy and solutions at S&P Market Intelligence’s 451 Research.
Separately, Business Insider recently rankled billionaire investor Bill Ackman after publishing an article alleging his wife, Neri Oxman, a former MIT professor, had committed plagiarism in her 2010 dissertation. After Ackman questioned the publication’s motives for the coverage, parent company Axel Springer initiated a review of Business Insider’s processes. Last week, Axel Springer said in a statement, “We stand by Business Insider and its newsroom.”
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