Business Insider Is Losing One of Its Founding Employees

President-COO Julie Hansen is segueing to a start-up.

As broken this afternoon by Wall Street Journal media reporter Lukas I. Alpert, Business Insider president and COO Julie Hansen has decided to move on. At the turn of the New Year, she will be joining a start-up venture outside the media space.


Below is the note sent out today to BI staff by Henry Blodget, who frames Hansen’s impending departure with a review of what has been a very busy year for the company:


I am pleased and proud to report that 2016 is shaping up to be one of the best years we have ever had.

As we have discussed all year, the digital-media industry is evolving rapidly, with several key changes happening all at once. As ever, change creates challenges and opportunities. Navigating such periods is never easy. But great companies are built in these periods. And thanks to the nimbleness, creativity, and grit that you have shown, we have made amazing progress this year.

Some highlights:

* We have set new readership and viewership records and now serve more than 300 million people each month (110+ million unique visitors on our sites and 200+ million more on other platforms and sites. We have also grown our video viewership to a staggering 2 billion views per month.)

* We have launched 5 new international editions, bringing our total to 12

* We have designed and launched several new properties, including INSIDER and Markets Insider, reengineered Viking and our backend architecture, and improved the speed, features, reliability, and performance of all of our services

* We have expanded our subscription service and now serve more than 100 enterprise clients and tens of thousands of individual members

* We have launched distributed content and e-commerce services and built them into multi-million dollar revenue streams

* We have embraced programmatic and native ads and grown them so rapidly that they now account for more than half of our overall ad revenue

* We have launched an “ad-light” subscription service for readers and viewers who prefer to pay us directly for a super fast and light version of BI called “BI Prime”

* We have posted another year of record revenue growth and remain on track to meet our bottom-line target

In short, we have done exactly what we set out to do: Delight our audience and clients and get better every day.

I will share details of our 2017 plan with you in December, but our mission will remain the same. We will stay focused on serving our audience and clients. And we will continue to invest in growth.

Val, Spencer, and our events team have put together a spectacular program for next week’s IGNITION conference. We look forward to having many of you join us at the Time Warner Center next Monday afternoon to kick it off. (You’re all invited — in person or via stream). We will toast several things at the opening reception, including the protagonist in the news story that follows.

Those of you who have been with us for a while have heard me tell the story of the early days of Business Insider — then called “Silicon Alley Insider” — which we launched in the loading dock of another startup nine years ago. For the first year, we were just a small group of journalists banging away trying to develop a large enough readership that we could eventually sell some ads and stay alive. One year in, happily, we had built that readership. But we then had three new problems: 1) We didn’t know how to sell ads, 2) we didn’t know how to build products and technology, and 3) we didn’t know how to organize and manage a team bigger than five.