Arianna Huffington is leaving the Huffington Post, the online news site she co-founded in 2005, to create a new site focusing on health and wellness called Thrive Global. The 66-year-old Huffington rose the ranks to become one of the most powerful women in media and was the Huffington Post’s editor in chief. Her new site is expected to launch in November.
Here’s a look at Huffington’s net worth and her newest venture.
1. Huffington Has an Estimated Net Worth of $50 Million
Huffington was born in Athens, Greece and first gained notoriety as an author under her maiden name Stassinopoulou. Her first book, 1973’s The Female Woman was an attack on the women’s liberation movement. She was also a worked as a conservative commentator during the ’80s and ’90s. She even supported Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich. She was married to Republican Congressman Michael Huffington from 1986-1997. She’s written 13 books and once ran for California governor as an independent in 2003.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Huffington has an estimated net worth of $50 million.
Huffington co-founded the Huffington Post in 2005 with Jonah Peretti, who went on to create BuzzFeed, and Kenneth Lerer, who will be investing in Thrive Global. Other investors include Sean Parker, Blue Pool Capital and Greycroft Partners, according to the Wall Street Journal.
2. Huffington Made $21 Million When AOL Bought The Huffington Post for $315 Million
In 2011, the Huffington Post Media Group was sold to AOL for $315 million. In 2013, The Smoking Gun obtained a memo that showed how much Huffington herself made from the sale. She took home $21 million. She also had a deal for $3 million in equity grants.
According to the Smoking Gun, the memo they obtained notes that Huffington’s departure from the company “could have a significant detrimental effect on the Company’s business.”
The company has struggled to turn a profit, despite remaining one of the most widely-read sites on the web. It averages 100 million visitors a month, notes the Wall Street Journal. The site also courted controversy by not paying some of its contributors.
Forbes places Huffington at 70th on their 2016 World’s Most Powerful Women list. She was 61st on the 2015 edition of the list.
3. Huffington Signed a Contract in 2015 to Stay at the Huffington Post Through 2019
After Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015, there were questions about Huffington’s future at the company. However in June 2015, she signed a contract to stay at the Post through 2019 that appeared to seal her future.
It ended up not to be the case, as The Wall Street Journal confirmed on Thursday that she’s leaving. She told the Wall Street Journal that the contract she signed last year let her start Thrive Global while still working at The Huffington Post.
“When I decided to create Thrive Global, I thought it would be possible to build a startup and continue as editor in chief of the Huffington Post,” Huffington said in a statement. “Today, it’s clear that was an illusion. 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.”
Even though her departure was somewhat expected, the Huffington Post did not say who would replace her.
4. Huffington Has Also Written Books on Health & Wellness, Including a New York Times Bestseller on Sleep
Huffington isn’t just suddenly making a career change from politics to health. She wrote the New York Times Bestseller The Sleep Revolution, which sought to raise awareness for just how important sleep is for everyone.
Thrive Global’s very name sounds like a reference to Thrive, the predecessor to The Sleep Revolution. The book aims to make a case to readers that our health is just as important as success at work.
“Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success – money and power – has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers,” the book’s synopsis reads. “In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters.”
5. She Owns an $8 Million New York Apartment, Which She Let People Sleep In While Promoting ‘The Sleep Revolution’
In April 2013, The New York Post reported that Huffington bought an $8 million New York apartment on Mercer Street. The apartment has three bedrooms, covers 4,000-plus-square feet and has a 50-foot-wide entertaining space.
In one of her promotional efforts for The Sleep Revolution last year, she and Airbnb held a contest to give away a stay at the apartment for two people, notes Elle Decor. The prize package also included a Greek meal chosen by Huffington and a meeting with her. She also gave the winner helpful hints about sleeping.
“I want to rekindle our romance with sleep,” she told the New York Times in May. “It’s a central part of life and a gateway to our dreams.”