- Shifting full attention to new wellness venture: Thrive Global
- Investors include Jack Ma, Zoe Baird, Sean Parker, NBA player
Arianna Huffington said she plans to step down as editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, the politics and news site she founded in 2005, turning her attention to a wellness venture focused on the “global pandemic” of stress and burnout.
Huffington, 66, announced her departure Thursday in a memo to staff of the publication, which was acquired by AOL for $315 million in 2011 and is now part of Verizon Communications Inc.’s media business. She said she had intended to keep running the site, then decided to turn her attention to her startup, Thrive Global, after attracting investors and hiring staff.
“As Thrive Global moved from an idea to a reality, with investors, staff, and offices, it became clear to me that I simply couldn’t do justice to both companies,” Huffington said in a statement.
After achieving a high profile as a media executive, Huffington’s interest in balancing work and rest increased over time. She wrote books including “Thrive” and “The Sleep Revolution.”
“Change is desperately needed if another generation is to avoid the burnout that all too often comes with success today,” she said in the statement.
The latest round of funding for Thrive Global was lead by Lerer Hippeau Ventures, which was started by Huffington Post co-founder Kenny Lerer and by Eric Hippeau, a former chief executive officer of the publication.
The investor group also includes Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma’s investment company Blue Pool Capital, Greycroft Partners, Zoe Baird, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, Allianz SE Chief Economic Adviser Mohamed El-Erian, Napster Inc. co-founder Sean Parker and Golden State Warriors player Andre Iguodala, according to the statement.
Verizon had given Huffington permission to pursue the new venture while staying with the company, where she serves as president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News in June.
“Arianna is a visionary who built the Huffington Post into a truly transformative news platform,” Tim Armstrong, chief executive officer of AOL, said in the statement. “Today, the Huffington Post is a firmly established and celebrated news source and AOL and Verizon are committed to continuing its growth and the groundbreaking work Arianna pioneered.”
Thrive Global, which will work out of the original Huffington Post offices in lower Manhattan, has started workshops with Accenture Plc, according to the statement.