Lerer left his position as Viacom chairman early last year.
A former AOL and communications executive, Lerer will focus on other projects, “as he feels [BuzzFeed] has reached a stage of maturity,” according to Axios, which first reported the news. He also cofounded The Huffington Post.
Lerer will continue to invest in new online publishers as a managing partner at venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
Lerer Hippeau is an investor in Axios, Group Nine and Refinery29, among other companies. (Lerer’s son, Ben Lerer, is CEO of Group Nine Media.)
BuzzFeed has tried to raise revenue, aside from digital advertising. Offline commerce and its Tasty and Nifty brands helped generate added income. BuzzFeed Studios head Lauren Dolgen recently exited the company.
Earlier this year, BuzzFeed let go of over 200 employees in a restructuring. Employees staged a walkout last week to bring attention to stalled efforts to unionize. BuzzFeed has yet to recognize the union.
In noting Lerer's departure, Reuters quoted a source that claimed the company was on track to become profitable in 2020.
The company has not yet announced if it will replace Lerer with a new chairman.