PopSugar Lays Off 19 Staffers Amid Cost-Cutting Moves (Exclusive)

Screengrab/YouTube
PopSugar co-founders Brian and Lisa Sugar, who is now the company's CEO.

The company says that cutting 5 percent of its staff is part of an effort to be profitable.

Digital entertainment publisher PopSugar laid off 19 staffers on Tuesday as part of an organization-wide effort to achieve profitability this year, a company spokeswoman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

"We made the hard decision today to say goodbye to 19 people, roughly 5 percent of our team," the spokeswoman said. "This was done to achieve profitability."

The company, which was founded in 2006 by husband and wife team Brian and Lisa Sugar, has been in the red and is "working through several cost saving initiatives," according to an email update sent to employees last week.

PopSugar staffers were worried by the "Cost Savings Update" email, which was sent on April 30 by co-founder and executive vp culture and corporate citizenship Krista Moatz. She emailed staffers to let them know about "temporary" cuts to the company's snack and beverage options that she said were part of an effort to reach profitability. In the email, which worried staffers (as snack cuts are often a prelude to staff cuts), Moatz revealed that the company spends about $480,000 annually on snacks, breakfasts, lunches and happy hours.

"We will take a pause on providing snacks and most beverages in all of our offices," she wrote in the email. But, she said, "We will continue to provide coffee, tea, various forms of milk for coffee, and filtered hot and cold water." Other casualties included quarterly lunches and monthly breakfasts, along with company-sponsored happy hours.

"I truly believe that the amazing culture we have here at PopSugar is not a result of our perks, but is the result of all of you and the shared values that we all strive to embody each and every day," Moatz wrote.

The company, which is based in San Francisco, is holding a "brief" all-hands meeting at 12 p.m. PT on Tuesday, at which the cuts will likely be discussed.

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