Jonah Peretti: CEO of BuzzFeed, bio, career, relationships, and net worth

Who is Jonah Peretti?

Jonah Peretti is an internet entrepreneur who founded Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed is a famous American internet news and entertainment company.

Jonah is a male Hebrew name that means “dove” or “pigeon.” It also means “he that oppresses.”

In an era when the internet business is booming, only a few names have been able to find massive success. One of those names is Jonah Peretti.

Jonah Peretti Biography
Jonah Peretti Biography

Jonah Peretti is also famous as the co-founder of The Huffington Post. Meanwhile, he is a developer of reblogging under project ‘Reblog.’

People know him as ‘The Man with the Viral Touch.’ It is because he started a highly successful website way before turning 40 years old. Jonah has also got fame for being the brother of a famous actress and comedian, Chelsea Peretti.

So are you ready to know all about Jonah Peretti and how he became an internet mogul? Read on to learn more.

quick facts

Full nameJonah H. Peretti
BirthdayJanuary 1, 1974
Age49 years old
TraitsPositive: ambitious, loyal, practical, and disciplined
Negative: critical, dubious, and demanding
BirthplaceContra Costa County, California, U.S
Currently residingLos Feliz, Los Angeles, U.S
ParentsAnthony Peretti,
Amanda Cherkin
SiblingsChelsea Peretti
Marital statusMarried
SpouseAndrea Harner
ChildrenTwin sons
EducationMasters from Massachusettes Institute of Technology Media Lab,
Bachelors from the University of California, Santa Cruz,
Schooling from The College Preparatory School, Oakland, California
ProfessionFounder of Buzzfeed
Net worthUSD 200 million
Height183 cms
Eye colorHazel
Hair ColorBrown

Interesting facts

1. Jonah Peretti is a famous actress and comedian’s brother

Jonah was born in Contra Costa Country, United States. He has a sister, Chelsea Peretti, a renowned actress and comedian most famous for her role as Gina in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine”. 

2. He went to MIT

Jonah got his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Later, he went to get his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he met people who were experts in networking.

3. Jonah Peretti is married

He is married to a child advocate and Authorized facilitator named Andrea Harner. She is also an Interior Designer. 

She used to work as a blogger when she first met Jonah. 

4. Jonah Peretti first became viral with Nike

He sent an email to Nike with a request to print ‘sweatshop’ on his custom show order. The email exchange between him and the company went viral.

Later, he went viral again after launching a parody website, “BlackPeopleLoveUs.com.” 

5. Jonah Peretti is the founder of Buzzfeed

Jonah co-founded ‘The Huffington Post’ with Kenneth Lerer, Arianna Huffington, and Andrew Breitbart. Then, he had launched Buzzfeed as a side project.

Later, he left The Huffington Post to work full-time at Buzzfeed.

6. Jonah Peretti has been a subject of controversy many times

Jonah, as an entrepreneur, has faced a lot of controversies.

His company has been criticized for having a political ideology and partnering with Barrack Obama on his ‘get-out-the-fact’ campaign.

Buzzfeed has also been criticized for posting the unreliable source of news. 

Jonah also made headlines when he laid off 15% of Buzzfeed’s staff due to underperformance.

In 2020, he decided to cut 25% of the staff’s salary due to the coronavirus crisis.

Jonah Peretti childhood

Jonah was born on January 1, 1974, in Contra Costa County, United States.

The media hasn’t disclosed his parents’ names yet. We know that his father was a criminal defense lawyer and a painter while his mother was a school teacher.

Jonah Peretti, though being ‘white,’ comes from a diverse ethnicity. His father was of Italian and English descent, whereas his mother was Jewish. His stepmother was African-American.

Peretti has been following the Jewish religion since his childhood.

Jonah Peretti sister and half-siblings

Peretti has one sister, Chelsea Peretti. From his father’s second marriage, Jonah has two half-siblings: a brother and a sister.

Jonah and Chelsea’s half-brother is a figurative artist in Pennsylvania. At the same time, their half-sister was a student at Drexel University.

Chelsea Peretti

Chelsea Peretti is an American comedian, actress, television writer, and songwriter. She is famous for her role as Gina Linetti in the series, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine.’

She is married to a comedian and actor, Jordan Peele, and has a son, Beaumont Gino Peele.

Chelsea has worked on many movies and TV shows such as Spinster, New Girl, Big Mouth, etc.

You can read more about his sister here

Jonah Peretti with Chelsea Peretti

Educational background of Jonah Peretti

Jonah Peretti did his schooling at The College Preparatory School in Oakland, California.

For his undergraduate degree, he went to the University of California, Santa Cruz. Jonah graduated with a degree in Environmental Science in 1996.

As an undergraduate student, he taught computer science at Isidore Newman School. For his master’s degree, he went to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He went to MIT to think about how technology could influence and improve learning. While doing so, he found people who were experts with networks.

Jonah Peretti Nike

It was while he was at MIT that he went viral for the first time. It was for sending an email to Nike, requesting them to print ‘sweatshop’ on his custom shoe order. The email exchange between him and the Nike company went viral.

Jonah Peretti wife and children

The internet entrepreneur, Jonah Peretti, married Andrea Harner. They have twin sons together.

About Andrea Harner

Andrea Harner is a children’s advocate in California. She holds training on how to protect children.

She also holds the position of Authorized Facilitator. Andrea is also an occasional Interior Designer.

At the time of her marriage to Peretti, she was a blogger. She also worked as a clinical forensic specialist. She worked at the Safe Horizon Staten Island Child Advocacy Center.

Andrea was also a part of a Senior Strategic Adviser for Darkness to Light.

Jonah Peretti road to fame

Before being the Buzzfeed founder, Jonah got a taste of fame through his viral emails with Nike. But it does not end there.

He went viral again after launching the popular parody website called BlackPeopleLoveUs.com. The site documented a couple’s bond among the African-American community.

Jonah also teamed up with his sister, Chelsea Peretti, on a project called ‘New York Rejection Line.’

Jonah Peretti on The Huffington Post

Before he acquired everything, Peretti worked as a director of the R&D Lab from 2001-2006. In 2005, Peretti hosted the Contagious Media Showdown at Eyebeam, New York.

Peretti co-founded ‘The Huffington Post’ with Kenneth Lerer, Andrew Breitbart, and Arianna Huffington. He launched BuzzFeed as a side project in 2006.

He worked at The Huffington Post until AOL, a web portal, bought the company for $315 million in 2011.

It was during this phenomenon that he came up with the concept of ‘Bored-at-work Network.’ It is a network that targets a larger audience than some major TV networks.

After leaving The Huffington Post, Jonah Peretti started working full-time at BuzzFeed.

Buzzfeed ceo Jonah Peretti

BuzzFeed was founded in 2006. In the initial stages, BuzzFeed was a simple site having funny photos and videos (aka memes). It grew as a multimedia powerhouse through its viral lists, memes, quizzes, and news.

BuzzFeed was the first site to break the news about John McCain endorsing Mitt Romney in 2012.

The company raised over USD 35 million in funding from investors in 2012. They raised $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm in 2014. Then, the company’s value was at $1 billion.

Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed's CEO

In 2016, BuzzFeed had a valuation of USD 1.7 billion. Comcast, a telecommunications company, invested USD 400 million into the company over the years.

In 2019, BuzzFeed had USD 300 million as its annual revenue.

With the headquarter in LA and its franchise worldwide, the company has over 1,700 employees. It hosts more than ten contents; Worth It, Tasty, BuzzFeed Unsolved being some of the favorites.

Currently, BuzzFeed gets more than 8.5 million views per month. Peretti and BuzzFeed sure have come a long way.

Jonah Peretti net worth

As of 2021, Jonah Peretti has a net worth of USD 200 million. He has earned his fortune mostly by being the founder of BuzzFeed Inc.

BuzzFeed net worth

BuzzFeed alone generates more than USD 300 million in revenue per year and has a USD 2 billion valuation.

Jonah Peretti house

The millionaire has spent USD 5.2 million on a large home in the Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles.

The house belonged to Dave Keuning, guitarist and songwriter of the band, The Killers. His sister, Chelsea, and her husband, Jordan Peele, live a few blocks away from his house.

Before, he owned a much smaller house in the same area worth USD 2 million.

Jonah Peretti awards and recognitions

Jonah Peretti received “I Want Media’s Person of The Year” in 2012. Besides that, there are not any awards on his name that we have been aware of so far.

However, BuzzFeed has won the Webby Awards for Best News App and Best Interview/Talk Show in 2017.

BuzzFeed’s president Greg Coleman received the Publishing Executive of The Year by Digiday. In 2018, BuzzFeed News’s staff was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

Well, your company’s recognitions are your recognition.


Not all success comes without complications. More, for an entrepreneur with a vast audience spectating his every move.

Jonah Peretti salary

Jonah faced criticism as he cut 25% from staff and executives’ salaries during the coronavirus crisis in April and May 2020.

He announced that he would not be taking a salary until they were over the crisis. 

On a positive note, he has also pledged to adopt more financial discipline than before.

Jonah Peretti deleuze

Jonah Peretti and a journalist named Dylan Matthews had a chat on how Buzzfeed embodies the principles of “Capitalism and Schizophrenia” written by Peretti himself.

Peretti studied the neo-Marxist critic Gilles Deleuze at MIT. He also studied the commodification of the internet while he was there. He has even written a paper criticizing the intersection of media, identity construction in late-stage capitalism, and advertising.

To get more in-depth, click here

BuzzFeed staff layoff

In 2019, Jonah announced that BuzzFeed would lay off 15% of its staff due to their underperformance.

Then, the remaining workforce was officially unionized. BuzzFeed announced that it would recognize the employee reunion, voluntarily.

Jonah Peretti unreliable

In 2014, people accused Buzzfeed of being an unreliable source of news. Columbia Journalism Review found that readers trusted a story originated on BuzzFeed less.

In 2017, BuzzFeed faced criticism from several media outlets and Donald Trump. Its reason was it published 35 pages of unverified memos, known as the Steele Dossier.

In 2018, a spokesman for Mueller’s office called the BuzzFeed report ‘Not Accurate.’

BuzzFeed plagiarism

People accused BuzzFeed’s staff of plagiarizing original content from other competitors’ blogs.

Gawker, Reddit, and The Atlantic Wire made observations on the plagiarization of Benny Johnson. He got fired because of his plagiarized content.

In 2016, people accused BuzzFeed Video of stealing content from other creators. In 2020, BuzzFeed News’ senior reporter Ryan Broderick also got fired for plagiarizing. At least 11 of his articles were labeled plagiarized.

BuzzFeed has been the subject of various copyright infringement lawsuits too.

Jonah Peretti unpaid contributors

BuzzFeed’s director of Quizzes stated that unpaid contributors created most of its quizzes.

The quizzes would make an estimated USD 3.8 million for BuzzFeed. But, the contributors received $30 Amazon Gift Cards or BuzzFeed merch in the form of payment.

Jonah Peretti political ideology

BuzzFeed supports civil rights, women’s rights, anti-racism, and LGBT equality. It has also partnered with Obama on the ‘get-out-the-vote’ campaign.

People once again criticized the company. It was when Jonah canceled an advertising agreement with the Republican National Committee. The reason was ‘offensive remarks’ made by Donald Trump.

Peretti said not advertising Trump was like how Buzzfeed does not promote smoking.

Social media

Jonah Peretti Twitter

Besides his website, Buzzfeed.com, you can find Jonah Peretti on Twitter as @peretti.

He usually shares articles and news on his website there.

Jonah Peretti Instagram

Jonah Peretti Instagram @jonahperetti is on public but is inactive.


He also has a Facebook on his name, even though he is less active there.

Jonah Peretti LinkedIn

Jonah Peretti is active on LinkedIn as well. You can also check his work profile on LinkedIn.


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