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To turn a profit, StumbleUpon axes 30% of staff

The Web and mobile discovery company cut 35 jobs to get its business into the black.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove

StumbleUpon has cut 35 jobs, or more than 30 percent of its workforce, in order to reach profitability, the company confirmed Wednesday.

"We are restructuring and reducing our workforce from 110 to 75, effective immediately," a StumbleUpon spokesperson told CNET. "As a result of these changes, the company will be profitable and will operate more quickly and efficiently."

StumbleUpon, which first launched in 2002, offers Web and mobile users a way to browse the Internet by interest. The company has gone through several iterations and leadership changes over the years. In late 2011, StumbleUpon pushed forward with a radical redesign meant to make its product more modern and fun. The redo has received been criticized for mimicking Pinterest's style look and feel.

Wednesday's layoffs, first reported by TechCrunch, took their toll on StumbleUpon's product, engineering, and marketing teams, the rep said. No executives were included in the staff "reduction," as StumbleUpon is calling it, but a few managers were given the ax.

The cuts point to trouble and uncertainty for a 10-year-old company that now finds itself a competitor to social networks like Twitter and Facebook, where Web users are growing accustomed to finding their daily news and memes. Of course, you won't hear that from StumbleUpon; the company is wrapping up today's sad news with a bow of optimism and some profit-colored ribbon.

"Profitability allows us to control our destiny, better execute against our goals, and experiment aggressively," the spokesperson said.