BuzzFeed CMO exits role to focus on publisher's toy store business

Ben Kaufman to lead growth of Buzzfeed's experiential store Camp

BuzzFeed's chief marketing officer, Ben Kaufman, is leaving the role in January 2020 to focus on growing the experiential family retail store Camp, which is partly owned by the publisher.

Kaufman is also the chief executive officer and co-founder of Camp, a 10,000-square-foot toy store that opened in New York's Manhattan in December 2018. BuzzFeed owns a minority stake in Camp, and runs media and activation sales for the store, according to Digiday.

BuzzFeed chief executive officer Jonah Peretti wrote in a memo to staffers on Wednesday (15 August) that Kaufman is "planning to shift into an active advisory role at BuzzFeed, as Camp continues to expand and require more of his day-to-day attention".

BuzzFeed is reportedly planning to open five more Camp stores by the end of 2020. The Information first reported the news, also noting that the publisher expects to return to profitability next year thanks to its growing commerce business.

A BuzzFeed spokesperson stressed Kaufman will remain actively connected to the company. Plans for his replacement and open remit will be announced by year's end.

BuzzFeed recently laid off 15% of its staffers as part of a self-described shift to "focus in on the content that is working". It has since been sharing more data with advertisers as it tries to rely less on revenue from platforms such as Facebook.

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