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Arianna Huffington signs off at The Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington, the Greek American journalist who founded the Huffington Post, said Thursday she will step down as editor-in-chief to start a new venture, ending her groundbreaking and controversial 11-year reign at the liberal online news company.

Huffington has written recent books about health and sleep issues, and her start-up, Thrive Global, was originally intended as an extension of her work in these areas, with a focus on improving employee health.

The company has begun piloting trainings and workshops with Accenture, and it will launch after the USA election in November.

She had signed a new contract in June of 2015 to stay at the Huffington Post as president and editor-in-chief through 2019.

She added, "HuffPost will always be part of me, and I'll always be here to help in every way possible as it continues to reach new heights". In the years since, the company has expanded to 15 countries, has 850 employees around the globe, and draws nearly 200 million monthly unique visitors worldwide.

Arianna Huffington is resigning as editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, she announced today.

There has been no announcement yet as to who will replace Ms Huffington as editor-in-chief.

Ms Huffington said she could not run The Huffington Post and Thrive Global at the same time. A syndicated columnist, she has also written 15 books on politics, spirituality and self-help.

Subsequently, Verizon's acquisition of AOL previous year raised questions as to Huffington 's status with the company, reinforced by her own announcement several months ago of her interest in starting a new business.

The publication won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and has expanded globally in the last several years.

Verizon bought AOL last summer with an eye to the future, hoping to get into the lucrative content business. Thrive Global, described in a release as a "corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform", will launch after the November election.

Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, called Huffington "a visionary", noting the company "is grateful for what she has done in creating such an iconic brand". (Huffington said she was removing herself from any decisions pertaining to stories about Uber.) She also sits on the boards of Spain's El Pais, the Center for Public Integrity and the Committee to Protect Journalists.