Group Nine Media has hired Stacy Green to lead its human resources team.
The company was created at the end of 2016 by the merger of Thrillist, The Dodo, NowThis and Seeker. CEO Ben Lerer said that at the time, he assumed that there would be a “Lego-like” process of combining the best teams from each organization — and since Thrillist had the largest HR staff, it seemed natural for its team to take on that role for the whole company.
Turns out, however, that “an HR team that was built for a 200-person company” can’t suddenly serve a team of more than 600 without some strain. So Lerer said that much of the past year has involved building out the infrastructure to support a larger company.
In addition, Lerer said he’s had to accept that HR and internal communications becomes a much bigger priority when you’re no longer a “small, founder led” startup. (Something that may have also become clear when the Thrillist editorial team voted to unionize last year.)
“There’s a difference between saying that you want to build a company that is truly about its people and actually doing the hard work to make that happen,” Lerer said. “In the past we’ve gotten away with the idea that, ‘I’m a nice guy, I honestly care about the people that I work with,’ … but that’s just not enough.”
For him, that means doing putting work into articulating “what the company really stands for.” It also means understanding that Group Nine has “a largely millennial workforce, with a different set of expectations” around things like transparency and work-life balance.