A leaked memo from Matt Mullenweg revealed plans to move Tumblr employees to other Automattic teams and run Tumblr with a much smaller staff. Mullenweg later confirmed the leak’s authenticity and explained the situation with Tumblr. But he cleared that Tumblr not shutting down.
Tumblr not shutting down due to earnings
Tumblr’s anticipated turnaround didn’t happen, and they must make the expected earnings. Automattic bought Tumblr from Verizon for $3 million in 2019. Verizon had acquired Tumblr from Yahoo for $1.1 billion. Despite a reasonable purchase price, Mullenweg states that Automattic spent $100 million trying to revitalize Tumblr, but it still needs to pan out.
What will happen to employees of Tumblr?
According to a leaked memo and Mullenweg’s Tumblr post, 139 product-side Tumblr employees can choose other roles at Automattic. Customer Support and Trust and Safety team members can stay at Tumblr without planned layoffs. Mullenweg referred to Tumblr teams by their internal names in his statement. This made clear that Tumblr not shutting down.
Let’s take a look at the internal names for different teams:
- Employees on the product side are referred to as Bumblr internally.
- The customer service team goes by the name Happiness within the company.
- T&S is shorthand for the Trust and Safety team.
In Mullenweg’s leaked announcement, he outlined their approach:
“As we’ve discussed, we have a backup plan if things don’t work out. We’ll reorganize the business to avoid any layoffs. Instead, we’ll figure out where else we should focus our energy collectively.
This plan is now in motion: most of the 139 individuals in Bumblr will transition to different departments.
There are no intentions to make changes in Happiness or T&S.”
What is the future of Tumble?
Tumblr is not shutting down, as of now. The current plan is to figure out how to run Tumblr with a minor team of employees.
Automattic is committed and will assess performance in 2024 to see what more they can achieve.