Huffington Steps Down

ThriveAfter building Huffington Post into a significant brand and news source, CEO and founder Arianna Huffington is leaving the company after 11 years. The company was sold to AOL 2011, and then Verizon acquired AOL in 2015. Huffington stayed on since but has become less visible in the company.

Now, she's starting a venture, Thrive Global, which focuses on employee well-being and is based on two books she's written. She explains the decision:

"As Thrive Global moved from an idea to a reality, with investors, staff, and offices, it became clear to me that I simply couldn't do justice to both companies."

The New York Times reports her position at Verizon as "increasingly precarious." The liberal news site has become a smaller part of a global media company, and perhaps the voice has been shrinking, particularly with Verizon's recent purchase of Yahoo. 

Huffington tried to reassure staff, who have been leaving the company steadily for the past year:

"Great companies always succeed beyond their founder. 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."

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong also tried to do his part:

"Today, The Huffington Post is a firmly established and celebrated news source, and AOL and Verizon are committed to continuing its growth and the groundbreaking work Arianna pioneered."

Discussion Starters: 

  • What else could Arianna Huffington, and perhaps the executives at Verizon, say to reassure HuffPost employees? They are likely concerned about their future without the founder at the helm. 
  • In her statement, Huffington talks only about her new wellness company. Should she say more about the company's position within Verizon? Why or why not?