Over the last seven pandemic-ridden months, meditation app Headspace has seen its downloads double. The company made its offerings free for first responders and the unemployed, and the number of people using a specific “stressed meditation” series is up sixfold. And as CEOs have become increasingly more mindful of their employees’ mental health, corporations such as Tesco, Hewlett Packard Enterprises and Publicis have signed on for Headspace for Work, while Microsoft is even integrating the meditation service into its Teams platform.
Behind the scenes of much of this recent growth has been CeCe Morken, the woman who is currently serving as Headspace’s president and COO. She assumed the position in April after spending 13 years leading different business units at Intuit—but six months into the job, she’s getting a promotion. Headspace announced Monday that effective January 1, 2021, Morken will become the company’s CEO, while current CEO and cofounder Rich Pierson alongside cofounder Andy Puddicombe will transition to new roles as co-executive chairmen of the board.
“The founders have looked at what we’ve done in six months and said ‘we’re super comfortable with where you’re taking things, and so we want to we want to offer this role to you,’” Morken told Forbes in an exclusive phone interview, noting that the CEO role was not part of the initial conversations she had with Headspace when she joined in the spring.
“When we founded Headspace in 2010, we never imagined it would become the meditation and mindfulness leader it is today,” Pierson said in a statement Monday. He went on to note that for him and Puddicombe, this period of growth marked the right time to step away from