Third of Digg’s Staff Left in Dirt

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digg_small.jpgADOTAS – After breaking the departure of CRO and Publisher Chas Edwards for Pixazza, AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher found out a lot more bodies departed the social recommendation website — just not of their own volition. Twenty-five of Digg’s 67 staffers — more than a third — received pink slips yesterday.

To reach profitability in 2011, newer CEO Matt Williams — who took over about six weeks ago when founder Kevin Rose abdicated the throne in the midst of a massive revolt regarding the revamped version of the site — said trimming the staff was necessary for significantly cutting expenses. “The fact is our business has a burn rate that is too high,” he wrote in an email to the staff.

Williams is Digg’s third CEO this year — Jay Edelson gave up his five-year reign in April, reportedly under pressure from Rose over the slow-developing site relaunch and static traffic. One of Williams’ first public acts was to apologize for the massive FAIL known as Digg v4 and announce the return of beloved features such as the “Upcoming” section.

Interestingly, Williams noted then that Digg traffic in August was 23 million uniques, which means the network had taken a significant dive from its 32 million peak in September 2009 even before the v4 debacle. The slip in popularity began in fourth quarter 2009 and was widely attributed to the rise of Twitter.

Even by slimming down and re-introducing popular features, do you think Digg can return to its former luster?

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