When the pandemic clipped tens of millions from BuzzFeed’s revenue, co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti cut back on costs – but kept the growth flywheel spinning. By the end of 2020 his team had engineered a rebound, finishing the year with record profitability. With the acquisitions of HuffPost and Complex Networks, Peretti’s ambitions are just beginning.
During Covid, BuzzFeed saw audience at record highs — but it crushed the bottom line. Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti shares how they’re enduring near-term pain with an eye toward long-term opportunity, and leaning into BuzzFeed News. There’s a clarity of purpose, he says, in bearing witness to things that are happening in the world.
To survive a crisis, you have to double down on who you already are as a company. This is something Ellen Kullman knows, having led DuPont through the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and taken the CEO role at 3D-printing unicorn Carbon only weeks before Covid hit. Through her years as a leader, Ellen has developed four crisis principles that allowed her to lead teams and thrive through pandemic, economic meltdown, and beyond. The key? Practicing the principles in calmer times, before crisis hits. Because as Reid says: there’s no such thing as a crisis playbook. There’s just your playbook. Cameos: Amy Shira Teitel (spaceflight historian), Jonah Peretti (BuzzFeed), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Neil Blumenthal (Warby Parker), Stacy Brown-Philpot (TaskRabbit).