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Popular meditation startup Calm, known for its wellness app of the same name, has laid off 20% of its staff, according to The Wall Street Journal, which viewed a memo sent by CEO David Ko to employees on Thursday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, about 90 of Calm’s 400 employees were laid off. Founded in 2012, the San Francisco-based startup was valued at $2 billion in 2020.
“I can assure you that it was not an easy decision, but it is especially difficult for a company like ours whose mission is focused on mental health and well-being in the workplace,” Ko said in the memo, according to the report.
Ko began serving as CEO this summer when co-founders Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew became co-presidents. He had been named co-CEO in February when Calm acquired Ripple Health Group.
At the time, Smith told CNBC that the company experienced accelerated growth early in the pandemic as people began to focus on mental health.
“It’s so valuable now that everyone is talking about it, and I don’t think it’s going to go away,” he told CNBC in February 2020. “The challenges that the pandemic has posed to society will continue even if we return to work and normal life.
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