Calm.com Inc., maker of the popular meditation and wellness app Calm, has laid off 20% of its employees, according to a memo CEO David Ko sent to employees on Thursday.
People familiar with the matter said San Francisco-based Callum has about 400 employees and about 90 have been laid off.
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“Unfortunately, today we are reducing our overall workforce by 20%,” Mr. Ko’s note said. “While some of you will be affected, you will all be affected. I can assure you that it was not an easy decision, but it is particularly difficult for a company like ours, whose mission focuses on mental health and well-being in the workplace. .
In the memo, Mr. Ko wrote that Quieter’s leadership “reviewed the investment thesis behind each project” before deciding to make changes that would help stabilize the business.
“We did not take this decision lightly, but believe these changes will help us prioritize the future, focus on growth and become a more efficient organization,” he wrote.
Mr Ko’s memo did not elaborate on the reasons for the layoffs, but promised employees “a more in-depth discussion of the company’s future” at a general meeting on Friday. A sober spokesman declined to make Mr. Ko available for an interview.
Calm.com CEO David Ko in 2019.
Photo Credit: Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW
One laid-off employee said the company’s leadership cited macroeconomic trends to explain the layoffs and told employees they had been trying to cut spending in recent months to avoid downsizing. was.
The employee and another person familiar with the position said about a dozen positions in Callum’s consumer marketing department were terminated as part of the cuts.
Mr. Ko was named co-CEO of Callum earlier this year alongside co-founder Michael Acton Smith and became sole CEO this summer when Mr. Smith and co-founder Alex Tew announced they would be taking on the roles of co-chair. I go forward
Mr. Ko was previously the CEO of Ripple Health Group, a health technology company that Calm acquired in February. Other former Ripple executives have also held senior positions at Callum. Bennett Porter, a former head of marketing at Ripple, now leads Calm’s consumer marketing department and reports to Greg Justice, formerly at TikTok’s vice president of content.
A few years ago, venture capital firms acquired Calm, as well as Headspace Health Inc., Happier Inc., and Modern Health Inc. When competitors began pouring cash.
Founded in 2012, Calm became the first unicorn in the meditation app industry in 2019.
The following year, it reached a $2 billion valuation after a $75 million fundraising round. Investors included Lightspeed Venture Partners, TPG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Salesforce Inc. Co-Chief Executive Marc Benioff.
In recent years, the company has grown by hiring Mr. Justice and a former Netflix marketing executive, running TV commercials, and investing heavily in marketing for CNN’s 2020 election coverage and HBO Max’s 2021 coverage starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba has sponsored miniseries. and other stars.
The employee and another person familiar with the position said Calum’s recent cost control measures include cuts to its marketing budget.
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