When Arianna Huffington co-founded The Huffington Post in 2005, it created a blueprint for a new kind of digital media company at a time in which news and social conversation were rapidly migrating from traditional to online media outlets. That success led to a $315 million acquisition by AOL, with Huffington remaining as President and Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group.
Five years later, she would start Thrive Global, which helped major companies and their employees build healthy habits through inspirational storytelling and actionable steps to help navigate a stressful world with greater resilience.
Huffington’s fascinating backstory is as compelling as her gifts for storytelling. She was born in Greece, but moved to the UK at 16, speaking virtually no English. She earned acceptance to Cambridge, one of Europe’s most prestigious universities, where she became a star debater. A prolific author, she penned numerous bestsellers, hired a young Van Jones as her campaign manager in a 2003 bid for California governor against Arnold Schwarzenegger, and then launched her successful media career.
Huffington talks to Rich and Gianni about meeting Rich and KD for the first time, and how her unsuccessful campaign for governor led her to the insights that fueled the success of The Huffington Post. She also shares how her relentless entrepreneurial work ethic led to burnout and a 2007 incident that made her realize her work habits were hazardous to her health — and inspired the formation of Thrive Global.