Digg Firing 1/3 of Its Staff

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More bad news for Digg in the wake of its rocky v4 redesign and the subsequent slump in traffic: The social news aggregator is reportedly firing more than 1/3 of its staff, or 25 out of 67 people.

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Mashable got ahold of the memo that CEO Matt Williams reportedly sent out to Digg’s staff today, reproduced below:

When I joined Digg six weeks ago, we set an immediate focus on improving the web site. We listened carefully to user feedback and started making changes to generate momentum in our business.

As I mentioned in one of our first all-hands meetings, another top priority was to take a hard look at the entire business, across product, sales, and operations. Through the time I have spent with each of you, I’ve been impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm you’ve shown. I’ve also learned a great deal about what is working well at Digg, and what is broken.

Many things are working well. The team is listening and acting quickly on the feedback from our passionate community. We’ve been able to deliver nimbly on the new platform, with over 100 bug and feature releases to the web site in the past two months. Our Diggable ads product has seen a notable increase in use by advertisers and clicks by users.

Unfortunately, to reach our goals, we have to take some difficult steps. The fact is our business has a burn rate that is too high. We must significantly cut our expenses to achieve profitability in 2011. We’ve considered all of the possible options for reduction, from salaries to fixed costs. The result is that, in addition to lowering many of our operational costs, I’ve made the decision to downsize our staff from 67 to 42 people.

It’s been an incredibly tough decision. I wish it weren’t necessary. However, I know it’s the right choice for Digg’s future success as a business. I’m personally committed to help find new opportunities for everyone affected by the transition. Digg’s Board members have also offered to help find placements within their portfolio companies.

Let’s please use today to show our sincere appreciation for our friends and colleagues who will be moving on. Tomorrow, we’ll go forward with a new strategy for Digg.


Considering that Digg rival Reddit, which has grown dramatically in the wake of Digg’s decline, has a staff of just six people (and could probably use more ad salespeople), Digg’s large staff seems a tough sell. That said, while we’ve voiced our concern over Digg’s recent change of direction, layoffs suck, especially in this economy. Our condolences to the Digg employees who will be losing their jobs; we hope you’ll land on your feet soon.

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