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Calm cuts 20% of staff, following its COVID-19 boom

The Calm app

The firm behind the meditation app, Calm, has reduced its workforce by 20%, according to The Wall Street Journal. A memo was sent out to staff about the lay-offs by CEO David Ko. The firm hires around 400 people and 90 were laid off. The news was passed along to the press by people familiar with the matter.

Part of the memo read:

“Regrettably, today we are reducing our overall workforce by 20%. While some of you will be impacted, all of you will be affected. I can assure you that this was not an easy decision, but it is especially difficult for a company like ours whose mission is focused on workplace mental health and wellness. We did not come to this decision lightly, but are confident that these changes will help us prioritize the future, focus on growth and become a more efficient organization.”

The CEO didn’t go into depth in the memo about why the lay-offs were happening, but stated that he’d elaborate at a meeting scheduled for today (Friday). A spokesperson for the company also declined to comment to WSJ about the measures the company was taking.

The action taken by Calm seems to become a bit clearer when SensorTower’s data is factored in. According to The Telegraph, who has SensorTower data, Calm has seen downloads drop by 30% over the last year as the COVID-19 pandemic receded and people return to normal. Given that Calm relies on paying customers, the decline in users probably means it couldn’t afford its level of staffing.

Source: The Wall Street Journal via The Telegraph (Yahoo! Finance)

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