It wasn't exactly a great start to the new year for StumbleUpon back in January, when the company laid off 30% of its staff, but that was a long time ago in Internet time, and the company has since been hiring, including some new execs and engineers.
StumbleUpon's Mike Mayzel told WebProNews back when the cuts were made that the company was restructuring to enable it to become "more streamlined, focused and to better execute" against its goals.
"As a result of these changes, the company will be profitable and will operate more quickly and efficiently and experiment more aggressively," he said. "We continue to grow and remain focused on providing the best discovery experience on the Web.”
Since then, it's been a fairly quiet year in StumbleUpon news. They hosted an Oscars contest, and got a new content delivery network, but there really hasn't been much in the way of product announcements. Nothing like last year, when they launched new mobile and tablet apps, as well as a new desktop experience.
"We've been heads down working on our product (both desktop and mobile)," Mayzel says.
Cody Simms, the guy behind last year's app launches, by the way, has left the company. TechCrunch reported earlier this month that he would transition to an advisory role, but wanted to move back to his home, which the StumbleUpon job took him away from. Here's a statement from he gave the blog:
StumbleUpon has a great mission and team, an innovative business model and is solving an incredibly interesting problem. My family and I recently made the decision, however, to return to family and friends in Los Angeles. As a StumbleUpon management team, we’ve worked together to ensure a clean transition during this time, and we’re excited to say that David Marks joined StumbleUpon just recently to take on the the role of VP Product.
Marks is co-founder of Lumia, where he was also CEO and CTO. He joined StumbleUpon late last month as the new VP of Product.
"Since the restructuring we have been actively hiring with a primary focus on engineering and product," Mayzel now tells us. "We have filled several roles including a head of user experience (Shawn Elson), a VP of Product (David Marks) and several software engineers (Pam Lu-Stone and John Landahl, to name two). We continue to hire and have a number of open roles at the company."
Elson also joined in July, and previously worked at Workday, where he managed and designed for social and mobile. He managed his own UX consulting firm, Elson User Experience, which worked with the likes of Adobe, eBay, PayPal, Apple, Zynga, Tend Micro, LG, and others. He also worked on UX at Verisign and even Netscape.
Open positions at StumbleUpon include jobs in business development, content quality, design, engineering and operations. You can see the specific positions here, but as the company notes on its Jobs page, it is also accepting general applications for those who are interested, but don't see listed positions that they want.
Benefits the company offers employees include breakfast and lunch, commuter reimbursement, gym/wellness reimbursement, company match for charitable gifts, a $100 monthly credit for the Uber car service, holiday shutdown and paid vacation, 401k match, "generous" family medical coverage, life/disability insurance, a kitchen stocked with snacks, quarterly team outings, an art program, and an onsite massage therapist.
Mayzel says StumbleUpon currently has over 30 million registered users and 100,000 advertisers. The average time spent per Stumble session, he says, is 30 minutes, and on average, users spend 3.5 hours a month using StumbleUpon in general.
The company is also currently holding a contest for data scientists, challenging them to design an algorithm to make StumbleUpon better at recognizing evergreen content. The winner, in addition to a cash prize, gets a chance to intern at the company. More on that here.