Arianna Huffington to Exit Huffington Post for Health Startup

Founder of digital empire to focus on new Thrive Global venture

Last Updated: August 11, 2016 @ 6:22 AM

Arianna Huffington will exit the Huffington Post to focus on a new startup venture called Thrive Global focused on health and wellness.

Huffington, who founded HuffPo 11 years ago and built it into a leading digital media site, will give up her role as president and editor-in-chief within the next few weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last year, Huffington signed a new contract through 2019 with AOL, which had acquired her namesake company in 2011 for $315 million. But her position — as well as the future of HuffPo — had come into question since AOL was acquired last year by Verizon for $4.4 billion.

Huffington’s contract allows her to simultaneously launch the new company, but she decided juggling both companies was too much.

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

Thrive Global secured Series A funding last week, according to WSJ.

The new venture seems to be a passion project as Huffington has long been an advocate of health and proper sleeping habits, publishing books “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.”

Huffington has said that she was once so sleep-deprived that she blacked out at her desk, toppled over and broke her cheekbone — and incident that she said caused her to reevalute her priorities. She has even blamed Donald Trump’s antics, such as outbursts of anger and feelings of paranoia, on sleep deprivation.

“Donald Trump is Exhibit A of chronic sleep deprivation,” she told TheWrap CEO and editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman during an April GrillChat. “We can’t fix him, but he could theoretically fix himself — but I think it’s probably too late.”

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