Mullenweg Verifies Tumblr's Failure But Does Not Close

The CEO of Automattic, Matt Mullenweg, has acknowledged that Tumblr's attempts to turn things around were ultimately unsuccessful, even with a substantial investment of $100 million.

Mullenweg Verifies Tumblr's Failure But Does Not Close

A strategy to shift workers to different teams within Automattic and run Tumblr with drastically fewer personnel was outlined in an internal letter that Matt Mullenweg released to Tumblr employees. Later, Matt Mullenweg gave an explanation for the Tumblr changes while confirming the validity of the leak.

Tumblr Not Earning Enough

Essentially, Tumblr's expected turnaround did not occur, resulting in lower-than-expected earnings. Tumblr was formerly a part of Yahoo's portfolio, which purchased it for $1.1 billion. It was purchased from Verizon in 2019 for $3 million. Even with the acquisition pricing that seemed favourable, Mullenweg led Automattic to spend $100 million in an abortive attempt to bring Tumblr back to life. But the anticipated turnabout never materialised.

What’s Happening To Tumblr Employees

Mullenweg's following Tumblr post and the leaked letter also state that 139 Tumblr product team members will have the chance to move to different positions within Automattic. Notably, there are no plans for the departure of staff members from the Trust and Safety and Customer Support teams from Tumblr. They are free to carry on with their duties there. Mullenweg mentioned a number of Tumblr teams by their internal names in his statement.

Therefore, it's helpful to know what the different teams' internal names are:

  • The internal term for the product side staff is Bumblr.
  • The internal moniker for the customer support group is Happiness.
  • The team known as Trust and Safety is referred to as T&S.

Mullenweg's announcement, which was leaked, detailed their ambitions:

As we previously discussed, in the event that it fails, we will have a fallback strategy and build up the company so that no one will need to leave; instead, we will simply need to take stock and determine where else we should focus our combined efforts.

The strategy is currently in action: most of the 139 employees of Bumblr will move to other departments.

There are no intentions to change Happiness or T&S.

What’s Next For Tumblr

Regarding Tumblr's discontinuation, no announcements have been made. Right now, the idea is to devise a plan for running Tumblr with fewer employees. In order to investigate other options, Automattic is still dedicated to evaluating performance and carrying on with business as usual through 2024.

View Matt Mullenweg's Tumblr statement regarding the memo leak:

Internalspeak to Externalspeak translation

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