Mullenweg Confirms Tumblr Failed But Not Closing

A leaked internal memo from Matt Mullenweg to the staff at Tumblr outlined plans to shift employees out of Tumblr to other teams in Automattic and run Tumblr on with significantly reduced  staffing.

Matt Mullenweg subsequently confirmed that the leak was genuine and offered an explanation of what’s going on with Tumblr.

Tumblr Not Earning Enough

The bottom line with Tumblr is that the turnaround they were working toward never materialized and is subsequently not earning at the levels they had planned to reach.

Tumblr was purchased from Verizon for $3 million dollars in 2019. Verizon had acquired Tumblr from their acquisition of Yahoo, which had purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion dollars years earlier.

The price was right but Automattic is said by Mullenweg to have spent $100 million dollars trying to turn Tumblr around.

But that never happened.

What’s Happening To Tumblr Employees

The leaked memo and subsequent tumblr post by Mullenweg explained that 139 employees from the product side of Tumblr will have the chance to choose other jobs at Automattic.

Employees in the Customer Support and the Trust and Safety teams can remain at Tumblr, there are no plans to let them go.

Mullenweg’s statement he made references to various teams at Tumblr by their internal names.

So it helps to understand what the internal names for various teams are:

  • Bumblr is the internal name for the employees on the product side.
  • Happiness is the internal name for the customer service team.
  • T&S is a reference to the Trust and Safety team.

Mullenweg’s leaked announcement explained their plans:

“As we talked about in the past, if it doesn’t work we’ll have a backup plan and set up the business so we don’t need to let anyone go, we’ll just need to reflect and decide where else we should concentrate our energy together.

This plan is happening now: the majority of the 139 people in Bumblr will switch to other divisions.

No plans for any switches in Happiness or T&S.”

What’s Next For Tumblr

No plans to shut down Tumblr were announced. The plan at this time is to create a plan for how to operate Tumblr with a reduced crew of employees.

Automattic is still focused on continuing in 2024 to see what they can do in terms of performance.

Read Matt Mullenweg’s statement about the leaked memo on Tumblr:

Translation of Internalspeak to Externalspeak

Featured Image by Shutterstock/BigTunaOnline

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