Peretti in April 2013
Jonah H. Peretti
January 1, 1974
|Alma mater||University of California, Santa Cruz|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Employer||Contagious Media (2001–2006)|
The Huffington Post
|Known for||BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post|
|Nike Sweatshop Emails|
|Relatives||Chelsea Peretti (sister)|
Jonah Peretti (born January 1, 1974) is an Internet entrepreneur, a cofounder and the CEO of BuzzFeed, cofounder of The Huffington Post, and developer of reblogging under the project "Reblog".
Education and early career
Peretti was born in California and raised in Oakland, California. His father, a criminal defense lawyer and painter, is of Italian and English descent and his mother (née Cherkin), a schoolteacher, is Jewish. His stepmother was African-American. He attended The College Preparatory School in Oakland, followed by the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he graduated with a degree in environmental studies in 1996. He taught computer science classes at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, in the mid-1990s. He completed a postgrad at the MIT Media Lab.
Between 2001 and 2003, Peretti set up two websites impersonating people with the intention of slandering them. One site impersonated a business rival who set up a dating site that rivaled Peretti's service, and another impersonated John Lott, an American gun rights advocate with whom Peretti disagreed. In a 2005 legal settlement, Peretti apologized to both men.
Peretti cofounded The Huffington Post, along with Kenneth Lerer, Andrew Breitbart, and Arianna Huffington in 2005. He left The Huffington Post in 2011 after it was bought by AOL for $315 million.
In 2005, Peretti hosted the Contagious Media Showdown at Eyebeam in New York City, where he worked as director of the R&D Lab from 2001 to 2006. During the process Peretti developed the concept of the "Bored-at-Work Network", which he supposes to be larger than some major television network audiences.
Peretti founded the "Internet popularity contest" site BuzzFeed in November 2006. After leaving The Huffington Post, Peretti began working at BuzzFeed full-time. While originally known for its mix of internet memes and lists, the site was the first to break the news that John McCain would endorse Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican Primary. The site continued to grow afterward, raising over $35 million in funding from investors the next year. In August 2014, the site raised another $50 million from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, more than doubling its previous rounds of funding. The site was valued at nearly $1 billion by Andreessen Horowitz.
In 2019, Peretti announced that BuzzFeed would be cutting its overall workforce by 15 percent. Peretti said he wanted to reduce costs without resorting to additional fundraising. Its remaining workforce then officially unionized, their first successful fight being over laid-off staffers getting their earned paid time off.
He is the elder brother of comedian and writer Chelsea Peretti. Their brother is a figurative artist residing in Pennsylvania, and the other sister is attending Drexel University. He is married to blogger Andrea Harner, with whom he has twin sons.
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- Contagiousmedia.org Archived April 2, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
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- Carr, David (February 5, 2012). "Significant and Silly at BuzzFeed". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- Serwer, Andy (December 5, 2013). "Inside the mind of Jonah Peretti". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- Lott, John (January 21, 2019). "John Lott: BuzzFeed and me â€" The incredible thing the site's CEO did using my name without permission". Fox News. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- "BuzzFeed's Founder Spreads False Information. I Was One Of His Victims". BuzzFeed's Founder Spreads False Information. I Was One Of His Victims. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- Gustin, Sam (February 7, 2011). "AOL Buys Huffington Post for $315 Million, Arianna to Head AOL Media". Wired. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- *Peretti interview in STAY FREE! magazine
- Beaujon, Andrew. "BuzzFeed CEO: Understanding 'how information is shared' can be as valuable as 'traditional reporting talent'". Poynter.
- Rice, Andrew (April 7, 2013). "Does BuzzFeed Know the Secret?". New York Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
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- Ruggiero, Christine Wang, Ryan (January 23, 2019). "BuzzFeed to cut overall workforce by 15%: Source". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
- Lee, Edmund (January 23, 2019). "BuzzFeed Plans Layoffs as It Aims to Turn Profit". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
- Kludt, Tom; Phung, An (February 12, 2019). "BuzzFeed votes to unionize after layoffs". CNN Business.
- @stylehatch, Style Hatch - http://stylehatch.co. "The Jolly, Abrupt, WTF Rise of BuzzFeed".
- Andrea Harner blog; retrieved January 1, 2016.
- Bhattacharji, Alex (April 1, 2017). "Peretti Siblings Share a Sense of Humor, Not Just Genes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 23, 2019.