Coincidently, after John Oliver’s exceptional discussion about journalism on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Arianna Huffington, co-founder, editor-in-chief, and president of The Huffington Post, has decided to step down to focus on new adventures. Her next project? A health-and-wellness start up.
Called Thrive Global, the company aims to “change the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is a necessary price for success. By reducing stress and exhaustion, we can improve people’s health and increase productivity for both companies and individuals around the world.”
Okay. So, Thrive Global is hoping to improve the quality of work in the workplace. Great. But what is it, exactly? Well, “Thrive Global is a corporate and consumer wellbeing and productivity platform. It provides trainings, seminars, ecourses, coaching, and ongoing support based on the latest scientific findings from experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, productivity, sports, and sleep. Thrive Global’s approach is extremely practical and based on the principle of microsteps so that people can more easily go from knowing what’s best for them to actually doing it.” Okay, we get it. Seems compelling enough.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 11, 2016
In a statement released Thursday, August 11, Ms. Huffington, 66, claims that being both editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and creating Thrive Global was not possible, “When I decided to create Thrive Global, I thought it would be possible to build a startup and continue as [editor-in-chief] of the Huffington Post. Today, it’s clear that was an illusion. 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.”
This is understandable. It’s difficult to be in two places at one time unless you’re Mr. Fantastic or The Flash. Interestingly, according to The New York Times, Arianna renewed a four-year contract with AOL in 2015 (which was acquired by Verizon for $4.4 billion). This renewal, which was supposed to extend to 2019, effectively ended any and all speculation of Arianna leaving The Huffington Post after the acquisition by Verizon. Unfortunately, it seems that is no longer the case.
Although Ms. Huffington is stepping down and walking away from the company after eleven years, she is confident about the future of The HuffPost.
“I step down as [editor-in-chief] filled with gratitude for our amazing HuffPost team and for what we’ve built together, and for Tim Armstrong who had the vision to buy HuffPost five years ago and to support from day one our global expansion. The journey of the last eleven years has exceeded my wildest expectations. I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished and very confident about HuffPost’s future with the strongest leadership team we’ve ever had and the full support of AOL and Verizon. And of course, HuffPost will always be part of me, and I’ll always be here to help in every way possible as it continues to reach new heights.”
Tim Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of AOL, said of Arianna Huffington and The Huffington Post, “Arianna is a visionary who built The Huffington Post into a truly transformative news platform. 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. We are confident that our strong editorial leadership team will maintain the exacting standards and [high-quality] journalism of our [Pulitzer Prize-winning] newsroom. The Huffington Post draws more than 178 million people worldwide on a daily basis and continues to distinguish itself with groundbreaking reporting and analysis. We remain committed to our mission of making The Huffington Post the most influential and innovative news company in the world.”
The Huffington Post won its Pulitzer Prize in 2012, and although site traffic has steadily declined, The Huffington Post still sees about 100 million unique visitors a month. I think it’s safe to assume that the site isn’t going anyway anytime soon, but one question stands the needs an answer.
What is The Huffington Post without Huffington? Is it just The Post?
[Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Time Inc]