BuzzFeed Taps Christian Baesler, CEO of Complex, as New Chief Operating Officer

BuzzFeed, after becoming a publicly traded company last month, named Christian Baesler — CEO of recent acquisition Complex Networks — as its first chief operating officer.

Baesler will continue to serve as CEO of Complex. Based in New York City, he reports to BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti. Baesler joined BuzzFeed last month after it closed the acquisition of Complex, buying the media company from previous owners Verizon and Hearst.

In the newly created COO role, Baesler leads all revenue functions for BuzzFeed. Concurrent with his new appointment, Baesler announced two promotions: longtime BuzzFeed exec Ken Blom will serve as EVP of business strategy and operations, while Edgar Hernandez, who hails from Complex, is BuzzFeed’s chief revenue officer.

Also reporting to Baesler are Nilla Ali, who has been promoted to EVP of commerce, and Richard Alan Reid, head of studio for BuzzFeed. Brendan Kelly, Andrew Guendjoian and Jeff Mazzacano, who will each continue to serve as SVPs of client partnerships reporting to Hernandez.

Baesler has overseen day-to-day operations of Complex Networks and its portfolio of brands since 2018. Prior to that, Baesler spent more than a decade at magazine publisher and radio broadcaster Bauer Media Group, overseeing its digital business in the U.K. Baesler also served as president of Bauer Xcel Media, Bauer’s global digital division, where he built its U.S. operation from the ground up.

“As the first pure digital media company to go public, we are just beginning to tell BuzzFeed’s story to the investment community. I’m thrilled to bring Christian’s strong track record of leadership and results to our whole business and to my leadership team at such a pivotal and exciting time for the company,” Peretti said in a statement. “I’ve also seen the operational strength, rigor, and innovation Christian brought to Complex Networks, and am excited to see BuzzFeed Inc. thrive and grow under his leadership.”

BuzzFeed’s brands and franchises in digital media include BuzzFeed, Tasty, BuzzFeed News, HuffPost and Complex Networks.

Since going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, BuzzFeed has seen its stock price drop by roughly 50%.

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