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Bumble shares drop as founder Whitney Wolfe Herd to relinquish CEO role

photo of Whitney Wolfe Herd
Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd has her photo taken on the red carpet after arriving for the TIME 100 Gala in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 24, 2018. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File photo)
Lidiane Jones takes reins as Whitney Wolfe Herd to step down
Staff Reports | REUTERS

Dating app operator Bumble said founder Whitney Wolfe Herd will step down as chief executive and hand over the role to seasoned tech and business executive Lidiane Jones, sending its shares down nearly 7% to a record low on Monday.

Jones is the CEO of Salesforce-owned Slack and has held senior business roles at Microsoft where she spent more than 12 years. She will take over on Jan. 2, while Wolfe Herd will remain executive chair.

“Lidiane’s expertise and track record in product and technology is exceptional,” said Wolfe Herd as the company looks to adopt artificial intelligence across its products.

Wolfe Herd, 33, launched the company in 2014 after an acrimonious departure from Match Group-owned rival app Tinder, which she had co-founded. Bumble’s eponymous app stood out in the industry by allowing women to make the first move.

In the recent years, Bumble, which counts Friends, Badoo, Fruitz (for Gen Z) and Official in its portfolio of dating services, has faced pressure to grow due to unrest in some markets like the Eastern Europe and competition from larger rival Match.

Bumble raised more than $2 billion in its initial public offering in February 2021, building on the momentum for internet-based dating services amid pandemic-led movement curbs.

The stock value has, however, slipped four-fifth since then as those tailwinds waned.

This is the second big executive departure this year at Bumble following the exit of President Tariq Shaukat, who stepped down after three years in the role.

“We are incrementally negative on the news, pending greater details… we view Whitney’s departure as a near-to-midterm headwind for business operations and a negative for overall company morale,” Evercore analysts said in a note.
Bumble is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Its shares were trading at $12.78.

Editor’s note: Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Arun Koyyur

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