Bumble Chief Whitney Wolfe Herd To Step Down

The chief executive and founder of women-centred dating app Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd, is to step down after running the company for nearly a decade, to be succeeded by Slack chief Lidiane Jones, the firm said on Monday.

Brazil-born Jones is to take over at Bumble on 2 January, while Wolfe Herd, 34, is to remain at the firm as executive chair.

Wolfe Herd was also a co-founder of dating app Tinder, but left amidst tensions with other executives, one of whom she had been dating, and afterward launched a sexual harassment case.

She founded Bumble in 2014 with the innovation of putting women in charge, such that only they can make the first move with matched male users.

Lidiane Jones is to take over as Bumble chief executive. Image credit: Slack

‘Significant potential’

When Bumble held its initial public offering in 2021 Wolfe Herd became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.

Shortly after flotation Bumble’s shares hit a high of $75 (£61), but have since sunk and on the news of Wolfe Herd’s departure dropped below $13.

Match Group, which owns Tinder, Hinge and dozens of other dating apps, has also seen its share price drop in the same period amidst concern about saturation in the dating app market.

Wolfe Herd said she was “incredibly optimistic about the future” and that she believed in the company’s “significant potential today more than ever before”.

Whitney Wolfe Herd. Image credit: Bumble

AI future

“This move to executive chair gives me the ability to step forward into a new and exciting role, get back to my founder roots and bring immense passion and focus to this next chapter of growth,” she said, adding that she was passing control to a leader and a woman she deeply respected.

Jones took over as head of Slack in January 2023, and before that was an executive at Slack parent Salesforce and spent nearly 13 years at Microsoft.

She told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported Wolfe Herd’s departure, that she planned to integrate more artificial intelligence (AI) features into the app to “accelerate” matchmaking.

“AI can play such a big role in accelerating people finding the right person, finding the right friends and the right community,” she said.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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