On Thursday, Valentine’s Day, WaPo officially discussed the circumstances surrounding the layoffs of employees, FishbowlDC sources have learned. Internal sources appropriately place the number at 54, though a publicist hasn’t confirmed the exact number. Every department facing cuts was asked to keep the news to their department only, as to not make it look like a mass layoff. We’re told those given pink slips include Beth Jacobs, General Manager of Mobile, and Ken Dodelin, Director of Mobile Products. Sources say the entire Mobile Product Management and IT Project Management staffs have been eliminated.
“[CIO and VP Shaliesh] Prakash thinks these are ‘inefficiencies’ – that is the exact word he uses for human beings who are not useful according to him,” said a source who spoke only on condition of anonymity. “Get rid of experienced people to save money, under the garb of streamlining is the new trend inside the Post.”
The news comes on the heels of the NYT, which recently offered buyout packages to 30 employees. That target number wasn’t reached; it isn’t clear how many employees were let go.
Jacobs’ LinkedIn profile describes her as a “senior-level executive with over 20 years experience in the in marketing, business development, product management and operations in the digital media and mobile sectors.” Before WaPo, she was VP of Mobile Business Development at AOL. She earned degrees from Bucknell and NYU Business School. She has been employed at WaPo for two and a half years.
Dodelin, meanwhile, is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Like Jacobs, he previously worked in Mobile Business Development at AOL. He earned three degrees — a JD and MBA from from the University of North Carolina and a B.S. in psychology from the College of William & Mary. He has worked at WaPo for nearly two years.
We reached out to a WaPo publicist Kris Coratti, who had no comment at this time. We also sent requests for comment to Jacobs and Dodelin. The emails, sent to the usual WaPo configuration, came back with failed delivery notices.
See the internal memo from Prakash. Read more