BuzzFeed Taps Activision Blizzard’s Katie Sitter as Head of HR (EXCLUSIVE)

BuzzFeed hired Katie Sitter, most recently an HR exec at Activision Blizzard, as senior VP of people.

Sitter, who starts at the company Sept. 30, will lead the BuzzFeed HR organization and oversee strategic initiatives related to organizational planning, talent acquisition, learning and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, labor relations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will be based in BuzzFeed’s Los Angeles office and will report to chief financial and administrative officer Eric Muhlheim.

“Coming from a leading interactive entertainment company like Activision Blizzard, Katie is uniquely qualified to bring her expertise in both operational infrastructure and innovation to our People team and support our growing business in an ever-evolving media landscape,” Muhlheim said in a statement.

Sitter replaces Lenke Taylor, who exited as BuzzFeed’s head of HR in May after she oversaw BuzzFeed’s 15% companywide layoffs earlier in the year. According to insiders, BuzzFeed staffers blamed Taylor for mishandling the job cuts, news of which leaked before it was announced. Among other missteps, staffers were livid over the company’s decision to not pay laid-off employees for accrued paid time off, and BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti ultimately reversed course. Taylor this summer joined Amazon’s Twitch as chief people officer.

Sitter has more than 15 years of HR experience. As Activision Blizzard’s VP of human resources, she developed talent strategies, serving a variety of groups including the corporate leadership teams and Activision Publishing’s global sales and supply chain, marketing and finance teams. Prior to joining Activision Blizzard, Sitter spent over 10 years at Deloitte serving in multiple HR-related roles.

“Beyond the great entertainment and vital news it delivers to massive global audiences every day, BuzzFeed brings innovation to all areas of its business, and fosters a culture of collaboration, creativity, and experimentation that I’m eager to contribute to,” Sitter commented.

Earlier in her career, Sitter worked in financial planning and analysis roles in the entertainment industry, with stints at Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity College in Connecticut and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

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