Fast-Growing Meditation, Sleep App Calm Hires Netflix, TikTok Execs To Oversee Marketing And Content


Calm, the Los Angeles based mental-health focused company and eponymous app, has hired Netflix’s Monica Austin and TikTok’s Greg Justice as VPs of, respectively, marketing and content.

They will report to co-founders and CEOs Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew as Calm continues to invest in original and editorial content.

Calm, launched in 2012, became the first mental health unicorn (a privately held startup valued at over $1 billion) in early 2019 and has over 100 million downloads to date, averaging 100,000 new users daily.

Last summer, HBO Max ordered A World of Calm, a ten-episode series narrated by Kate Winslet, Priyanka Chopra Joas, Mahershala Ali, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Lucy Liu, Cillian Murphy, and Keanu Reeves. The series, which builds on Calm’s Sleep Stories – bedtime stories for grown-ups — debuted in October.

“As two proven leaders, Monica and Greg’s experience with disruptive content platforms will play a critical role for the business as Calm continues to bridge the gap between mainstream culture and mental wellness,” said Smith. “Content and marketing are two of our biggest growth levers.”

Austin joins Calm from Netflix where she spent four years leading the original series marketing team as Director of Global Creative & Social. Prior to Netflix, she led entertainment partnerships at Facebook, supporting Instagram, Oculus and Messenger’s new product launches. She will advance Calm’s editorial and brand platforms, content promotion and publicity, overseeing the company’s social, community and public relations teams as the brand continues to evolve on and offline.

“Building authentic connections and community are critical for brands to keep up with the ever-evolving cultural landscape,” said Austin. “The team has done an incredible job to date. This is just the beginning of Calm’s marketing journey as we continue to meet members where they are, reinforce the importance of mental wellness, and encourage communities to care for themselves.”

Justice will focus on Calm’s daily content offering, investing in talent-driven partnerships and engaging existing and new members. As Head of Content Programming at TikTok, he led creative production, audience development and editorial strategy. He previously worked in programming at Snap, where he managed new formats and led teams developing and producing content across Snapchat’s Sports, News, Lifestyle, and Entertainment verticals.

“Suffice to say, it’s a stressful time to be a human, and I’m honored to join the team in expanding Calm’s transformational content offering and bettering the world’s mental wellness,” he said.

Calm was Apple’s 2017 iPhone App of the Year and one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2020. It has hundreds of hours of original audio content available in seven languages and supports users in more than 190 countries.

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