Justin Zhu, founder and CEO of $2 billion tech startup Iterable, fired for “microdosing” on LSD at work
Iterable is a $2 billion tech startup founded eight years ago by Justin Zhu and Andrew Boni to enable brands to create, execute and optimize cross-channel campaigns with unparalleled data flexibility. Iterable is used by leading brands including Zillow, SeatGeek, and Box to power world-class customer engagement throughout the entire lifecycle.
Now according to a report by Bloomberg, the board of the San Francisco-based Iterable has fired the founder and CEO Justin Zhu for taking LSD before a meeting back in 2019. In a note to its employees on Monday, Iterable said that CEO Justin Zhu was over violations of company policy. Co-founder Andrew Boni will replace Zhu, the note added.
In a private statement from Boni, obtained by Bloomberg, Iterable said that “[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.”
However, in an interview with Bloomberg, Zhu said he had “experimented” by taking a small amount of the drug (a practice known as “microdosing”) in an attempt to boost his focus. Looking back, Zhu should have probably kept the information to himself.
Iterable was founded in 2013. The startup 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.