Executive Exits, Pay Cuts Hit b5Media

Venture-backed Canadian blog network b5Media Inc. has cut its team by a third, saying goodbye to two executives in the process. On his blog Chief Executive Jeremy Wright said COO Salim Teja and VP of Finance Jon Prosser will leave the company. Three other positions in sales and support were also eliminated. Wright said he will take a 60% pay cut.

If there is one thing I’ve learned about Start-Ups is that every day is an adventure; sometimes not necessarily a good one but an adventure nonetheless. Even in the healthiest economies, with the perfect product, solid vision and a fantastic team, tough situations come up that require tough calls. Sadly, in spite of an amazing community and one of the best teams anyone could ask for, we’ve got those tough calls to make in order to ensure b5media survives and thrives.

The recent cuts were cost-saving measures prompted by the slumping economy. Wright said the company has enough capital to survive “well into next year.” He said the burn rate is down and revenue is growing, but he declined to provide specific figures.

JLA Ventures partner and b5Media board member Rick Segal wrote on his blog praised Wright and his team for making some tough decision:

Last week, Co-Founder Jeremy Wright and his management folks came to me with a plan that, in his words “protected the core”.  Jeremy stepped up and took his pay down to just above minimum wage letting me know that he could find some things, like his book, etc on the side.  He wanted to protect his equity.  To him, b5 was an amazingly great property with amazing bloggers and solid team.  He believes and I believe. We put additional capital in last year because we believe.  He comes to work everyday and is on email with me at all hours of the night.  Rock solid.

b5Media raised at least $2 million from Canadian venture capital firms JLA Ventures and Brightspark Ventures. The b5Media blog network reaches nearly 10 million unique visitors and receives 30 million page views per month.