*The publication she co-founded in 2005 has become one of the most widely read and respected news outlets in the world, and now, after 11 years, Arianna Huffington is stepping down from her role as editor-in-chief at The Huffington Post to pursue another dream.
I remember being quite taken with Arianna Huffington when I met her nearly a decade ago in Bel Air. She sat next to me in the audience, in the huge backyard of a wealthy businessman who had brought my friend, the late Eddie Fisher, in from New York to speak to a group of wealthy entrepreneurs (mainly Caucasian) on the topic of recidivism.
Though I had heard of Huffington previously, her Huffington Post was still new and not as well-known as it has now become. I knew enough to understand that she, along with most of the folks in the audience, were leaders in their respective fields. Still, I recall she had the most beautiful red hair at the time; a lovely and sincere spirit as we chatted openly, and a slight accent that I later learned was Greek.
At an announcement from her New York office on Thursday, Huffington said she will step down from Huffington Post, a Verizon company, to build a lifestyle, health and wellness site called Thrive Global.
A company that, according to a prospectus, she tells her new company investors is a platform to “promote well-being and productivity,” “address the pandemic of stress,” “maximize creativity” and “transform our culture from surviving to thriving.”
Huffington, who recently became an Uber board member, started her news site when George bush was re-elected. It was a news blog that her friends could voice their opinions on, blog-style. Since that time it has grown into an international news site serving up original news and video, with the help of more than 850 employees worldwide.
According to a report in the Huffington Post…
Though Huffington has remained immersed in politics throughout, including by strongly opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy from the beginning, she’s increasingly turned her attention in recent years to health and wellness issues, the focus of her 2014 book, Thrive, and this year’s The Sleep Revolution. In June, Huffington announced the upcoming launch of Thrive Global, which she had initially planned to run while remaining at the helm of HuffPost.
In an interview, Huffington said she realized she “could not build a company part-time,” especially as she began staffing up and investors began putting in millions of dollars.
When the announcement was made to the staff at HuffPost, shock is said to have been the response as many only learned through an internal memo.
The company is now in motion to find a new editor-in-chief; looking both internally and externally.
But as is the attitude that any great leader shares with those they have led to success, Huffington tells her former staff during one of their last staff meetings that she is confident The Huffington Post “will do amazing things in the future” under new leadership.
“We are very solid in our DNA, what we stand for,” she said.
“Great companies always succeed beyond their founder,” she told attendees. “Even though HuffPost bears my name, it is absolutely about all of you and about this amazing team we’ve been for over 11 years.”
And anyone who believes in being a contributor to change will LOVE this quote from Ms. Huffington…
We’re “at this moment of transition, this real culture shift where we don’t have to work and live the way we’ve (sic) doing it,” Huffington said. “I feel like I can make a real contribution here by helping people change behavior, giving them micro-steps to make that easy.”
You will be missed at HuffPost, Ms. Huffington. But we know your new venture will be just as outstanding!