Headspace Taps Morken as CEO

Headspace Taps Morken as CEO
Headspace co-founders Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe.

Headspace Inc., the Santa Monica-based meditation app developer, has promoted CeCe Morken to chief executive.

The company’s co-founders, Andy Puddicombe and current CEO Rich Pierson, will transition to new roles as co-executive chairmen.

The changes, announced on Oct. 12, will take effect on Jan. 1.

Pierson and Puddicombe tapped Morken as president and chief operating officer in April. She previously spent 13 years at software developer Intuit Inc., where she served as executive vice president and general manager of the company’s Strategic Partner Group.

Morken joined Headspace at a time of rapid growth. The company has seen subscriptions double over the past six months as people turn to meditation and mindfulness to cope with the stressors of the coronavirus.

The Headspace app has more than 65 million users in 190 countries.

Headspace for Work, the company’s business-to-business service, has also seen rapid growth as employers recognize the importance of mental health for their workers. The service, which is used by 1,300 companies including Starbucks Corp. and Adobe Inc., has seen a 500% increase in interest in the last six months.

“Our mission has become even more essential and relevant to consumers and businesses, presenting a tremendous opportunity to continue to disrupt the industry and address key real-life issues through our differentiated product offering,” Morken said in a statement. “While Headspace has experienced significant growth over the past few years, I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Pierson said he and Puddicombe are stepping back to devote more time to philanthropic endeavors. “The pivotal role CeCe has played over the past few months and the deep experience she brings delivering high growth during rapid periods of industry disruption give us the utmost confidence in her leadership,” Puddicombe said in a news release.

In June, Headspace raised an additional $47.7 million in equity for its Series C funding round, bringing the total Series C raise to $100.7 million in equity and $40 million in debt. Forbes has estimated the company’s valuation to be $350 million.

As president and COO, Morken oversaw global operations and helped develop the company’s growth strategy, including strengthening its technological capabilities.

She helped launch several recent initiatives, including the company’s partnership with Microsoft Corp.’s Teams product; the launch of Headspace Mini, a partnership with Snap Inc.; and the appointment of musician John Legend as the company’s chief music officer. 

Morken also led the introduction of Headspace Promise, an initiative to expand access to the app for health care workers, K-12 educators and the unemployed.

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