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BuzzFeed Marketing Chief Ben Kaufman to Step Down, Will Focus on Camp Retail Expansion

Ben Kaufman is stepping down as BuzzFeed’s chief marketing officer after less than a year, moving into an advisory role at the company with the planned expansion of Kaufman’s Camp retail stores.

Starting in January 2020, Kaufman will shift into an “active advisory role” at BuzzFeed, as Camp continues to expand and “require more of his day-to-day attention,” CEO Jonah Peretti wrote in a memo to staffers Wednesday. The Information first reported the news of Kaufman’s new role.

BuzzFeed opened its first Camp experiential toy store in December 2018, a 10,000-square-foot space in Manhattan’s Flatiron District at 110 5th Ave. By the end of next year, BuzzFeed expects to open five more Camp stores, including in Dallas and Brooklyn. Camp is an independent startup, in which BuzzFeed has a minority stake.

Peretti said BuzzFeed has started working on a transition plan for the CMO role. For now, he wrote, “Ben continues to lead several priority projects, and his team is on target to exceed their goals for the year.” The CEO added that “I continue to feel good about our business and projections for the rest of the year and into 2020.”

Kaufman joined BuzzFeed in 2016 as chief commerce officer, before being named to the CMO job in January 2019. During his tenure at the digital-media company, he helped develop the Tasty line of products for Walmart and the Goodful brand at Macy’s.

Prior to BuzzFeed, Kaufman was an internet entrepreneur and most recently served as founder and CEO of Quirky, a startup that creates products based on ideas submitted by inventors.

“Very thankful for & proud of my time at BuzzFeed,” Kaufman tweeted Thursday about the change. “Lucky and excited to continue to be a part of the BF family as I shift my focus to scaling
@CAMPSTORES.”

This summer, Kaufman also led the launch of BuzzFeed’s first in-person event, Internet Live, an invite-only shindig in New York featuring dashes of internet culture and personalities. The July 25 event featured performances by Lil Nas X and JoJo Siwa. Previously, Kaufman had said the company planned to produce more live events.

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