Juul cofounders Adam Bowen and James Monsees are no longer billionaires, according to Forbes estimates.
The majority of the pair’s respective net worths are tied to their 1.75% stakes in the e-cigarette maker, Forbes’ Sergei Klebnikov reported. One of the company’s biggest investors, hedge fund Darsana Capital Partners, reportedly cut the company’s valuation by more than a third on October 3, slicing Bowen and Monsees’ net worths, too. The pair first became billionaires in December 2018.
Juul did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on Bowen and Monsees’ net worths or their status as billionaires.
Juul is now worth $24 billion, down from the $38 billion valuation the company hit after an investment from tobacco maker Altria in December 2018, Markets Insider previously reported. Altria’s $13 billion investment made Bowen and Monsees billionaires for nearly ten months, according to Forbes estimates.
The pair founded Juul after meeting on smoke breaks while studying product design at Stanford University in 2004, Business Insider previously reported. Ploom, a precursor to Juul, was launched in 2007 and first released Juul products in 2015. The company’s Juul line was spun into a separate firm in 2017.
Juul has faced widespread public concern over its youth-focused marketing and the long-term health impacts of its products amid a rising number of vaping-related illnesses and deaths. The Trump administration is currently exploring a ban on flavored vaping products, The Wall Street Journal reported. Such products are responsible for nearly 80% of Juul’s sales in the US, according to The Journal. The e-cigarette maker is also reportedly under criminal investigation by the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.
Juul CEO Kevin Burnes resigned on September 25. Juul also said it would suspend US advertising and some lobbying efforts. Additionally, the company is preparing to scale back its staff, The Wall Street Journal reported on September 24.
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