BuzzFeed president steps down, takes adviser role

Tue May 13, 2014 1:09pm EDT

1 of 2. BuzzFeed's President & Chief Operating Officer Jon Steinberg speaks during an interview at the company's headquarters in New York January 9, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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(Reuters) - BuzzFeed President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Steinberg is stepping down after four years at the online entertainment and news start-up and will become an adviser to the company.

Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed is known for its lists of cute cats and other shareable content, and more recently, for its foray into news.

"Jon has decided after four years of being President and COO of BuzzFeed, it's time for him to move on to new ventures and challenges and will be moving into an advisor role at BuzzFeed," Steinberg and BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti wrote in a memo circulated to staff on Monday and provided to Reuters by BuzzFeed.

Steinberg, 37, will join Lerer Ventures, one of BuzzFeed's financial backers, as an adviser.

Steinberg said he is interested in working in the technology and media sectors.

"I'd like to spread my wings a little bit and maybe run something on my own," he told Reuters.

A former Google Inc executive, Steinberg was BuzzFeed's 15th employee. He steered operations including advertising at the company, which is known for its sponsored content and quizzes that are ubiquitous on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

"With Jonah and his team, BuzzFeed has gone from 15 people to 500 -- the site is huge," Steinberg said. He said leaving BuzzFeed was a natural break after four years there.

BuzzFeed's revenue is expected to double this year to $120 million, a person familiar with the company told Reuters in February.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Tom Brown, Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler)

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