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Headspace, the meditation app, is putting its old CEO in charge of the company again

Co-founder Rich Pierson is taking over for Sean Brecker, who is staying on at the startup.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Headspace, the company behind a popular meditation app, has a new chief executive — who is also its old chief executive.

Headspace co-founder Rich Pierson took over the top slot at the startup last week, replacing Sean Brecker, who had the job for the last two years. Brecker is staying on at Headspace as its chief financial officer.

Both Pierson and Brecker say they made the move in consultation with Andy Puddicombe, the company’s other co-founder, as well their board and investors.

“We’re constantly looking at the org and trying to optimize,” Brecker said.

Headspace offers free meditation classes through its app, and tries to sell its users a premium subscription service. Pierson said the company, which has 170 employees, got 13.5 million people to try the service at least once in the last year.

Pierson said when Headspace started out as a 15-person operation in 2010, no one had any titles, but he ended up becoming its formal CEO within a year.

After bringing in Brecker to run the company in 2014, Pierson focused on product and marketing; he says it now makes sense to have him overseeing everything.

Headspace has raised more than $30 million, most of which came from a 2015 round led by The Chernin Group.

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