Well, well: Looks like even as Tumblr was shuttering Storyboard, the company was getting ready to begin another chapter on the sunny West Coast. Yesterday, the company’s head of sales, Lee Brown, posted several photos of an unfurnished building.
“Tumblr LA office open!!!” he captioned it. It looks just like every startup space in Soho–except for the rays, of course.
Smack in the center of the lead photo, holding up a key, is wunderkind CEO David Karp. It doesn’t seem like Mr. Karp lingered to answer questions from employees re: what was up with that Storyboard shutdown.
A bit of poking uncovered this old JobScore listing for a L.A.-based “brand strategist (account executive)” for the company. It looks like it’s from late February. About the position (now apparently filled) it says:
“Want to be at the forefront of native brand advertising? Are you a Tumblr enthusiast with relevant sales experience in the LA market? Great! We’re looking for entrepreneurial brand strategists to join our sales team and help grow our business.”
Between the listing and Mr. Brown’s presence in the photos, it seems safe to conclude the office is for sales. As VP of Sales, he’s charged with selling advertisers on the whole concept of buying exposure vs. buying ads. As he recently told Bloomberg: “Marketers have become accustomed to buying scale as opposed to earning it,” Brown said. “We’re not really selling ads, we’re promoting their content.” Better hope there are some open minds out in L.A.
We’ve reached out to Tumblr for comment and will update if we hear anything back. In the meantime, check out our report from earlier today on the exodus of top deputies at Tumblr.
(Update, 9:41 p.m.) A Tumblr spokesperson tells us:
“Tumblr is delighted to open our first official West Coast office in Los Angeles. The primary function of this office will be Sales and Outreach, with seven full time employees. This adds to our existing Sales force, which covers major cities in the US including San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago and New York, in addition to LA. We are excited to bring Tumblr closer to our agency and Entertainment brand partners in LA.”