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Meditation App Calm Lays Off 20% of Staff


Calm.com Inc., maker of in style meditation and wellness app Calm, has laid off 20% of its employees, in accordance with a memo despatched by Chief Executive

David Ko

to workers on Thursday.

People accustomed to the matter mentioned San Francisco-based Calm employed roughly 400 individuals, and that roughly 90 had been laid off.

“Regrettably, today we are reducing our overall workforce by 20%,” Mr. Ko’s memo mentioned. “While some of you will be impacted, all of you will be affected. I can assure you that this was not an easy decision, but it is especially difficult for a company like ours whose mission is focused on workplace mental health and wellness.”

In the memo, Mr. Ko wrote that Calm management had “revisited the investment thesis behind every project” earlier than deciding to make adjustments that may assist stabilize the enterprise.

“We did not come to this decision lightly, but are confident that these changes will help us prioritize the future, focus on growth and become a more efficient organization,” he wrote.

Mr. Ko’s memo didn’t elaborate on the explanations for the layoffs however promised workers “a more in-depth discussion on the future of the business” at an all-hands assembly scheduled for Friday. A Calm spokeswoman declined to make Mr. Ko obtainable for an interview.

Calm.com Chief Executive David Ko in 2019.


Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW

One worker who was laid off mentioned firm management cited macroeconomic developments in explaining the layoffs and advised workers that they’d tried to scale back bills in current months to keep away from slicing employees.

The worker and one other individual accustomed to the state of affairs mentioned roughly a dozen roles in Calm’s client advertising and marketing division had been eradicated as half of the cuts.

Mr. Ko was named co-CEO of Calm earlier this 12 months alongside co-founder

Michael Acton Smith,

and have become sole CEO this summer time when Mr. Smith and co-founder

Alex Tew

mentioned they had been transferring into co-chairman roles.

Mr. Ko had beforehand been CEO at Ripple Health Group, a healthcare expertise agency acquired by Calm in February. Other former Ripple executives have additionally assumed management roles at Calm.

Bennett Porter,

a former advertising and marketing govt at Ripple, now leads Calm’s client advertising and marketing division and experiences to Vice President of Content

Greg Justice,

who was previously with TikTok.

Venture-capital companies a number of years in the past started pouring money into Calm in addition to opponents resembling Headspace Health Inc., Happier Inc. and Modern Health Inc.

Calm was based in 2012 and have become the first so-called unicorn in the meditation app industry in 2019.

It achieved a $2 billion greenback valuation the next 12 months after a $75 million fundraising spherical. Investors have included Lightspeed Venture Partners, TPG,

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.


Salesforce Inc.

Co-Chief Executive

Marc Benioff.

In current years, the corporate invested closely in advertising and marketing by hiring Mr. Justice and a former


advertising and marketing govt, operating adverts on broadcast tv, and sponsoring CNN’s protection of the 2020 election in addition to a 2021 HBO Max miniseries that includes

Kate Winslet,

Idris Elba

and different stars.

The worker and the opposite individual accustomed to the state of affairs mentioned Calm’s current cost-control measures included cuts to its advertising and marketing finances.

Write to Patrick Coffee at [email protected]

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