Digg appears to be hanging on a thread. After a year of staffing adjustments, user mutiny, and diminishing market worth, the company can’t take much more. But today it did.
This morning, the company announced multiple staffing changes, most notably that it will be cutting nearly 40 percent of its staff. The struggling social media site also lost its publisher and chief revenue officer, Chas Edwards, who decided to resign from the position, and this afternoon, CFO and HR executive John Moffett left after five years with the company.
In his personal blog, Edwards explained he would continue on as an advertising and marketing advisor with Digg, but that he would be accepting a chief revenue officer position with startup Pixazza. Moffett’s LinkedIn profile indicates he left to assume a similar position at Vizu, a startup that measures the potency of digital advertising.
For the greater part of the last six months, Digg has had to weather storm after storm, from user outrage over rebranding to massive financial woes. Less than a week after current CEO Matt Williams joined the team, the site’s relaunch caused longtime “Diggers” to ditch the site, or worse yet, declare war by posting links to rival site Reddit.
In an open letter to the Digg team today, Williams said that the company “has a burn rate that is too high. We must significantly cut our expenses to achieve profitability in 2011.” He went on to conclude that he would be doing that by cutting the staff from 67 to 42 employees.
At the FailCon conference in San Francisco today, former Digg CEO Jay Adelsen said he didn’t regret refusing to sell the company when he had the option, also remarking that his vision for Digg was not its current state. Adelsen and founder Kevin Rose had a contentious relationship during the end of his time there, resulting in his resigning and Rose taking over as interim CEO.
When asked what he thinks of Digg’s future, Adelsen said, “The jury is out.” Williams claims the team is focused on reclaiming its position and will be executing changes to the site immediately, and users are ready to embrace Digg as long as it returns to its previous platform.
A user by the handle paradigm1220 commented on William’s blog post announcing the cuts saying “I think I speak for most active users here when I say that I believe Digg can come back and I want Digg to come back.” It’s got a long way to go to get there.