$2 billion startup sacks CEO for taking LSD at work

The fired exec, who also co-founded the company, said he was taking the drug to increase his focus

$2 billion startup sacks CEO for taking LSD at work

A San Francisco-based marketing startup has sacked its CEO for taking LSD at work.

Iterable Inc. said in a note to its employees Monday that it had dismissed co-founder and CEO Justin Zhu for violations of company policy.

Zhu said the board’s main reason for sacking him was that he took LSD, which is illegal in the US, before a meeting in 2019, according to a Bloomberg report. Zhu told Bloomberg he was experimenting with microdosing – taking small amounts of the drug – in an effort to increase his focus.

In an email to employees, Iterable co-founder Andrew Boni said Zhu’s firing was due to unspecified violations of “Iterable’s Employee Handbook, policies and values.  Boni wrote that Zhu’s “behavior also undermined the board’s confidence in Justin’s ability to lead the company going forward.”

Boni said that Zhu was a “world-class innovator and creative thinker” and that his “vision, creativity and passion will remain a core part of our culture.”

Boni has replaced Zhu as CEO, according to Bloomberg.

While LSD use is illegal in the US, it has gained acceptance in some medical circles and in parts of Silicon Valley, Bloomberg reported. The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, said that taking LSD was “one of the most important things in my life.”

Iterable was founded in 2013. Its customers include DoorDash and Zillow. It is valued at about $2 billion, and its investors include Index Ventures, Charles River Ventures and Viking Global Investors, Bloomberg reported.

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