Kenneth Lerer Steps Down as BuzzFeed Chairman

Kenneth Lerer, a prolific investor who helped found HuffPost, has stepped down as chairman of BuzzFeed, the viral-happy website that has lately experienced turbulence after a sharp rise in prominence.

Mr. Lerer’s departure, which was first reported by Axios on Tuesday, was confirmed by two people with knowledge of the matter who declined to speak publicly. Mr. Lerer’s investment fund has not altered its stake in BuzzFeed, the people said.

A BuzzFeed spokesman declined to comment.

The immediate implications of Mr. Lerer’s departure for BuzzFeed were unclear. Jonah Peretti, the site’s founder and chief executive, has been BuzzFeed’s principal leader of late.

BuzzFeed has struggled in the past few years after a period of significant growth. The bumpy ride has coincided with a broader reckoning for digital media outlets confronting challenging trends, including the increasing dominance of Google and Facebook in the online advertising market.

In January, BuzzFeed laid off 15 percent of its staff, including dozens of journalists at its money-losing but prestigious news division.

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