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Juul Labs co-founder James Monsees will leave the embattled e-cigarette company, stepping down as an adviser and board member, according to an email the company sent to employees today.
Monsees said he looked forward to spending more time with his family and pursuing other interests.
Monsees and his co-founder Adam Bowen created Juul in 2007 after studying at Stanford University together. It has since become the most successful e-cigarette company in the US, but it has generated controversy over the potential health risks.
Last October Monsees and Bowen stepped down from their jobs as chief product officer and chief technology officer to work in advisory positions assisting the company’s new chief executive, K.C. Crosthwaite, who took the helm in September. Since then, Juul has halted U.S. sales of its mint and sweet flavors most popular with teens, and cut 650 staff.