Arianna Huffington's New Start (And It's Not Huffington Post)

Photo by Damon Winter

Photo by Damon Winter

So much to admire about her.  Leaving her “job” at 66, starting a new business, constantly curious and looking at what is new. A force of nature who is capable of pushing agendas and creating movements. She is our kind of AGEIST woman. 

"With her abrupt announcement on Thursday that she was stepping down as editor in chief of The Huffington Post and leaving the company to focus on her new venture, a health and wellness start-up called Thrive Global, she leaves the publication in an unfamiliar position. For the first time since its founding in 2005, The Huffington Post will be without Ms. Huffington. No successor was named.

In an interview, Ms. Huffington, 66, said she had originally intended to run The Huffington Post while working to start Thrive Global. But that plan soon reached its limits.

'The original idea was that I could do both,” she said. “But it very quickly turned out to be an illusion.'

Along with her success, Ms. Huffington has been a polarizing figure in the media world, and her presence in the newsroom has not always been constant. But since Verizon bought AOL, her interests seemed to increasingly move beyond running The Huffington Post. After the sale, there was speculation that she would leave the company, concerns allayed when she signed a four-year contract in June 2015.

At a staff meeting Thursday morning in The Huffington Post’s Manhattan headquarters, Ms. Huffington stressed her confidence in the organization. 'Great companies always succeed beyond their founder,' she said, according to an article by Michael Calderone, the publication’s media reporter. '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.'

Though Ms. Huffington’s departure came as a shock, it was in some ways inevitable, particularly after she announced the formation of Thrive Global in June.

In the interview, Ms. Huffington said she had thought about leaving The Huffington Post for 'a while,' and the closing of a funding round for Thrive Global last week ultimately drove her move. 'It was my decision' to leave, she said, adding that the contract she signed last year had a carve-out clause that allowed her to start a new venture.

Ms. Huffington said she would stay on at the publication until early September.

'I’m going to be very much around for the rest of the month, helping in every way I can, including having Greek sweets in my office,' she said, a nod to her home country and her distinctive accent.

-Sydney Ember via The New York Times