Arianna Huffington Focuses on Growth of Wellness Field with Thrive Global

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Arianna Huffington is stepping down as Editor-inChief of The Huffington Post to run her new company, Thrive Global.

A corporate and consumer well­-being and productivity platform, Thrive Global offers training classes, seminars, e-­courses and findings from experts in neuroscience, psychology, productivity, sports and sleep.

“For far too long we have been operating under a collective delusion that burning out is the necessary price for achieving success. This couldn’t be less true,” said Huffington, on the Thrive Global website. “All the latest science is conclusive that, in fact, not only is there no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and high performance, but performance is actually improved when we prioritize our health and well-being. It’s time to move from knowing what to do to actually doing it.”

Huffington has published several books on health and sleep including, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.

“Since publishing Thrive and then The Sleep Revolution, I’ve dreamt of taking the next big step to help transform the way we work and live.” said Huffington, in the announcement.

That moment has arrived. “No matter who we are, we share a common need for sleep,” she said, in a press release.  “Though this need has been a constant throughout human history, our relationship to sleep, and our understanding of its vital benefits has gone through dramatic ups and downs. And right now that relationship is in crisis.”

Arianna Huffington - The Sleep Revolution book 2016

Stress and burnout globally cost business hundreds of billions of dollars each year—$300 billion in the US alone. However, the press release notes, performance actually improves when we make our health and well-being a priority.

Huffington points out that sleep deprivation is also linked to illnesses such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease—and the awareness response has fueled a new market. She is set to deliver the keynote at the 8th Annual Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress in September outside Washington, DC.

“People want more sleep,” said Huffington. “Hotel rooms are being transformed into sleep temples, schools are modifying start times to suit the sleep needs of teenagers, an exploding market in wearable technology has emerged that tracks our sleep, and a range of smart products—from smart mattresses to smart headphones—has entered our lives.”

The Huffington Post launched a global sleep campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of sleep deprivation. The media site produced Sleep Revolution PSAs with Uber, Change.org, Toyota, Sleep Number as mattress brand partner and JetBlue’s free napping pods for passengers at New York’s JFK Airport.

Airbnb partnered on a contest to win a night at Huffington’s apartment in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood for the ultimate sleep experience complete with a Greek dinner and a sleep consultation from homeowner herself.

“Arianna’s unique insights into how we consume news has transformed the media landscape,” said entrepreneur and Thrive Global investor Sean Parker. “Through Thrive Global, she will once again transform an industry and have a profound impact on how we live and work.”

The new company has begun pilot trainings and workshops with Accenture. “Humans should be at the heart of the digital age,” explained Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer at Accenture. “It’s why we believe that creating an environment where our people can be successful, both professionally and personally, is so important to our company.”

A source told Business Insider it was this $7 million round of funding, valuing Thrive Global at $33 million, that convinced Huffington she could no longer run both companies. Huffington signed a new deal in June last year to remain at the Huffington Post as president and editor-in-chief through 2019.

“I really thought I could do both, but as we started building it up, I realized that it really needed my full attention,” she told Business Insider. “It is important to know when one door closes and another opens and I felt that moment had arrived.”

The Huffington Post engages more than 178 million people worldwide on a daily basis. It will remain in good hands, says Tim Armstrong, CEO AOL, in the release. “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.”

Thrive Global will launch after the election in November and has established partnerships with Altus (physical training), Bob Roth and the David Lynch Foundation (meditation coaching), Sense by Hello (sleep education) and Thrive Market (food and nutrition).

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