Meditation App Calm Lays Off 20% of Staff

Calm.com Inc., maker of well-liked meditation and wellness app Calm, has laid off 20% of its workers, in keeping with a memo despatched by Chief Government

David Ko

to workers on Thursday.

Individuals accustomed to the matter mentioned San Francisco-based Calm employed roughly 400 folks, 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.”

Within the memo, Mr. Ko wrote that Calm management had “revisited the investment thesis behind every project” earlier than deciding to make modifications that will 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 accessible for an interview.

Calm.com Chief Government David Ko in 2019.



Photograph:

Travis P Ball/Getty Photographs for SXSW

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

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

Mr. Ko was named co-CEO of Calm earlier this yr 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 Well being Group, a healthcare expertise agency acquired by Calm in February. Different former Ripple executives have additionally assumed management roles at Calm.

Bennett Porter,

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

Greg Justice,

who was previously with TikTok.

Enterprise-capital companies a number of years in the past started pouring cash into Calm in addition to rivals comparable to Headspace Well being Inc., Happier Inc. and Trendy Well being Inc.

Calm was based in 2012 and have become the primary so-called unicorn within the meditation app trade in 2019.

It achieved a $2 billion greenback valuation the next yr after a $75 million fundraising spherical. Buyers have included Lightspeed Enterprise Companions, TPG,

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

and

Salesforce Inc.

Co-Chief Government

Marc Benioff.

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

Netflix

advertising and marketing govt, operating advertisements 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 particular person accustomed to the state of affairs mentioned Calm’s current cost-control measures included cuts to its advertising and marketing price range.

Write to Patrick Espresso at patrick.espresso@wsj.com

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