Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Ex-Robinhood, WhatsApp Legal Leader Lands Top Law Post at Calm

May 23, 2022, 4:43 PM

Calm.com Inc., the meditation, sleep, and wellness app maker, has hired Anne Hoge as its chief legal officer.

Hoge stepped down two years ago this month from the same role at online trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc.

She replaces former Calm general counsel Jacques Lehot, who confirmed via email that he left the company in January.

Privately held Calm, founded in 2012 by Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew, within the past decade has secured financial backing from some notable investors, including singer Harry Styles, Salesforce.com Inc. co-founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff, and actor Ashton Kutcher’s venture capital firm Sound Ventures LLC.

Hoge didn’t respond to a request for comment about her role at Calm. Carolyn DiVine, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based company, confirmed she was hired in March.

Hoge began her career as an associate at Wiley Rein in Washington and left Big Law in 2002 to spend nearly nine years at Yahoo Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif. Hoge left Yahoo in 2011 to become vice president of legal and chief compliance counsel for data management and storage company NetApp Inc.

She spent two years in-house at NetApp, which reshuffled its legal leadership earlier this year. Hoge then joined WhatsApp Inc., a messaging service owned since 2014 by Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., as general counsel in 2013.

Robinhood

Robinhood hired Hoge in November 2019. The company, which over the past two years has faced an array of legal and regulatory issues, said Hoge had relinquished its top legal job in 2020 “to attend to an illness in the family.”

Robinhood turned to board member Daniel Gallagher Jr., a former commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission, to replace Hoge as its top lawyer.

She subsequently succeeded Lehot at Calm. The company hired Lehot, a former head of corporate affairs and intellectual property at Stripe Inc., in late 2020. He spent 16 months as legal chief for Calm, where he helped the company close a key fundraising round that doubled its valuation to roughly $2 billion.

Lehot said he left Calm to focus on building Catalyze Advisors, an advisory outfit and early-stage fund co-founded by a few former Stripe leaders, including the fintech company’s ex-general counsel Jon Zieger, chief accountant David Spillane, head of tax Michael Yip, and payments and risk chief Karen Brinkley.

Catalyze is growing after initially investing in startups led by former Stripe employees, Lehot said.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where Lehot began his legal career two decades ago, has handled commercial contract and intellectual property work for Calm.

In March, Calm was sued for trademark infringement by Calm Radio Corp., a Canadian music-streaming platform for relaxing music. Winston & Strawn is representing Calm Radio in that dispute in a federal court in San Francisco, while Calm has turned to Fenwick & West.

Fenwick partner Michael Esquivel, co-lead of the Silicon Valley-based law firm’s digital health group, has advised Calm on its fundraising efforts, including the $75 million in Series C funding it raised in December 2020.

Fenwick and Esquivel—the first-ever general counsel at Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos Inc.—also counseled Calm this past February on its acquisition of health care technology company Ripple Health Group. That deal saw Ripple’s CEO, David Ko, join Calm as co-CEO.

DiVine, the Calm spokeswoman, declined to discuss the company’s outside legal advisers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com