Story at a glance:

  • A tech company let go of one of its founders.
    • Justin Zhu, the co-founder, used LSD to improve his focus.
    • The company is worth $2 billion.

On Monday, a company ousted its chief executive officer and co-founder because he used LSD in 2019.

Justin Zhu was experimenting with drugs to boost his focus, but the illegal drug goes against marketing startup Iterable Inc.’s company policy, which resulted in him being kicked out.

Co-founder Andrew Boni will replace Zhu, Bloomberg reported.

In a private statement from Boni, obtained by Bloomberg, "[Zhu's] behavior also undermined the board's confidence in Justin's ability to lead the company going forward. [He was a] world-class innovator and creative thinker [whose] vision, creativity and passion will remain a core part of our culture."


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The use of LSD has been a shortcut, an artificial confidence booster for some of those in Silicon Valley. The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., admitted to using the substance, saying "Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life."

Based in San Francisco and created in 2013, Iterable Inc. is a mobile-optimized email marketing solution that enables marketers to test and send personalized emails optimized for mobile without coding, Bloomberg reported.

The company is reportedly worth $2 billion. Some of its partners include Doordash and Zillow Group.

The side effects of LSD include nausea, loss of appetite, increased blood sugar, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth, tremors and seizures.


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Published on Apr 27, 2021