The End of an Era? Popular Meditation App Maker ‘Calm’ Lays Off 8% of Employees


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The online meditation space has been seeing major competition in recent years, and it now looks like one of the biggest names in the industry might be shutting down entirely. Calm, the wildly popular app that offers guided meditations and other relaxation resources to users around the world, reportedly laid off 20% of its staff this week, including co-founder Michael Acton Smith (the founder of Mind Candy and Candy Crush fame). Though there’s no official word on why Calm has made these cuts, some people are wondering if it could be due to sluggish sales performance or possibly an acquisition in the works from an outside company.

According to a message that CEO David Ko wrote to colleagues on Thursday, the well-known meditation business Calm, known for its wellbeing app of the same name, has let go of 20% of its workforce.

Approximately 90 out of Calm’s 400 employees were let go, the Wall Street Journal reports. The San Francisco-based firm, founded in 2012, has a $2 billion valuation in 2020.

According to the story, Ko said in the message, “I can promise you that this was not an easy choice, but it is especially challenging for a company like ours whose goal is centred on workplace mental health and wellness.”

This summer, Ko took over as CEO after co-founders Alex Tew and Michael Acton Smith switched to co-chairman positions. When Calm purchased Ripple Health Group in February, he had been appointed co-CEO.

When the epidemic first began, Smith told CNBC, the firm experienced increased growth as people began to pay more attention to mental health.

He told in February 2020 that “it is so valuable today that everyone is talking about it, and I don’t think it’s going to go away.” Even when we resume our usual lives and jobs, society will still face issues brought on by the epidemic. And while having good intentions, it isn’t enough to just talk about these things; those who are afflicted must get treatment or they risk relapse or death. But there is hope: by improving awareness and taking action together, we can beat this thing.


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