CEO of $2B Company Let Go for Taking LSD at Work

CEO of $2B Company Let Go for Taking LSD at Work a notepad with the chemical formula of el es dee on a wooden table (Dreamstime)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Tuesday, 27 April 2021 10:47 PM

Iterable Inc., a $2 billion company, released a board statement to its employees Monday that CEO Justin Zhu, an alumnus of Google and Twitter, was let go for reportedly using LSD at work in 2019.

Andrew Boni, the other co-founder is taking up the mantle as CEO. The exact reasons for Zhu's departure are unknown, but Zhu cited it was due to his micro-dosing of LSD before a meeting in 2019. Zhu claimed it helped him focus.

Zhu "undermined the board's confidence in Justin's ability to lead the company going forward," Boni wrote in an email to staff, Forbes reported.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, LSD "is one of the most powerful mind-altering chemicals. It is a clear or white odorless material made from lysergic acid, which is found in a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. LSD has many other common names, including acid, blotter acid, dots, and mellow yellow."

Silicon Valley has a long history of using hallucinogenic drugs. According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs remarked on his LSD use in a questionnaire.

"Throughout that period of time [1972–1974] I used the LSD approximately 10 to 15 times," Jobs said. "I would ingest the LSD on a sugar cube or in a hard form of gelatin."

"I would usually take the LSD when I was by myself. I have no words to explain the effect the LSD had on me, although, I can say it was a positive life changing experience for me and I am glad I went through that experience."

Iterable is a marketing company that has attracted big names to its record of clients, including DoorDash and Zillow Group. According to PitchBook, the company is estimated to be valued at $2.1 billion as of March.