Jim Spanfeller, the new CEO of G/O Media, is getting flak for bringing in “older white guys” from his past to run Gizmodo Media and The Onion after he was tapped to run the dozen Web sites private equity firm Great Hill Partners picked up from Univision in early April.

The criticism comes after Mike McAvoy was given his walking papers last week. McAvoy had been running ad sales for the sites that include Jezebel, Gizmodo, Deadspin, Splinter, The Root and others, while simultaneously serving as chief executive of satirical site The Onion,The A/V Club and the food site The Takeout.

Said one insider of McAvoy’s sudden ouster: “It was an ambush. He was fighting for women who have been passed over or been replaced by older white guys.”

Univision had operated Gizmodo Media and The Onion as separate operations but sold both to Great Hill in April. Under the new company, executives are merging operations into one unit.

Sources said McAvoy’s last day was July 11. A G/O Media spokesman confirmed the departure, adding, “We wish him well.”

Many of Spanfeller’s new “older white guy” hires have ties to him from his past gigs, which include Playboy, Forbes Media and Spanfeller

Media, which he sold to Tribune Publishing, sources said.

“The appointments are being made without interviewing anyone and without posting the jobs,” said one insider, adding that this is a departure from the days when it was owned by Univision.

Virtually the only woman to join the company since the takeover was the newly hired human resources director, Angela Persaud, who joined this week from ad agencies Carat and Amplify.

However, in an email to Media Ink, Spanfeller disputed the claim that he is only hiring former colleagues who happen to be white men, stating: “The characterization that women are not being offered promotions or the chance to apply for roles is not accurate. Diversity and inclusion are core to our culture.”

He said that in addition to adding Persaud as senior vice president of Human Resources, he promoted Joyce Tang to executive managing editor.

He said he hired Faisal Javaid as deputy general counsel.

He added that in the coming days, he plans to announce one more key hire, which will be of a woman.

“Other than that, I am not going to comment on the specific merits of someone over another in the org,” Spanfeller said. “Simply not fair to anyone.”

About 25 people, some 6 percent of the 400-person workforce, were laid off in late April, shortly after the acquisition by Great Hill.

Main Source link