BuzzFeed Has a New CTO; Also Undergoes Broad Restructuring
BuzzFeed, the New York-based digital media company, has announced a new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Former VP of engineering, Todd Levy, is promoted as the company’s new CTO, replacing Mark Wilkie. In capacity of CTO, Levy will be responsible for overseeing a 100-member engineering team.
Levy became a part of BuzzFeed when startup Torando Labs was acquired two years ago. As part of the acquisition deal, Levy was given the responsibility to create a new data engineering team at BuzzFeed. Previously, he co-founded and served as Bitly’s CTO.
In an email directed to the employees, Dao Nguyen, BuzzFeed Publisher, said, “It is without hyperbole when I say that Levy has revolutionized the way we architect systems, improve software, collect data, and deploy code. His mentorship within tech has been an inspiration to many, and I am very excited for him to formally take on Engineering leadership.”
Talking about his new role, Levy said in an official company statement, “I’m excited to be taking on a broader role with the tech organization. BuzzFeed thrives on an experimental culture, and while we’ve made fantastic progress in the first part of the year in overhauling our systems to support that approach, we’re just getting started and have a ton of exciting projects ahead of us.”
Bifurcation into news and entertainment units on BuzzFeed’s agenda
Levy’s promotion closely coincides with the announcement of BuzzFeed’s editorial side’s broad restructuring, as the team is now bifurcated into a news unit and an entertainment unit. With this reorganization, a new entity called BuzzFeed Entertainment will be created, led by Ze Frank — current President of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. BuzzFeed News will go on under the leadership of Ben Smith, the Co-Founder.
This development comes in between reports of 10-year-old BuzzFeed having missed its revenue targets in 2015. In a report, Newsonomics’ Ken Doctor said that for an unusual hybrid like BuzzFeed, a sale could make great financial sense, since news is a cost centre and entertainment is a profit centre.
Apart from BuzzFeed, other old media organizations that have divided into separate news and entertainment units include Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, Gannett, and Tribune.