April 20, 2024

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Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe Herd Steps Down as CEO, Slack’s Lidiane Jones Takes Over

Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and chief executive of one of the world’s largest dating apps, is stepping down from her role after almost a decade. She will transition to the role of executive chair at Bumble, Inc. The change in leadership is set to take place in January, and she will be succeeded by Lidiane Jones, the current CEO of Slack.

Whitney Wolfe Herd, at just 34 years old, became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire when she took Bumble public in February 2021. Her journey started in 2014 when she created Bumble, setting it apart from other dating apps by giving women control over their interactions. Her vision was to empower women to “make the first move” and challenge outdated gender norms in dating. In Bumble’s model, only female users can initiate conversations with matched male users. In same-sex matches, either person can send the first message.

Following Bumble’s initial public offering, its shares reached a peak of $75 but have since experienced a significant decline. The announcement of Wolfe Herd stepping down led to an all-time low share price of $12.77. Despite this, she remains optimistic about Bumble’s future and is confident in its potential.

Lidiane Jones, who will be taking the reins of Bumble Inc., is the current CEO of Slack, an instant messaging platform popular in professional settings. Prior to this, she worked with Slack’s parent company, Salesforce, and at Microsoft. In her statement, Jones expressed her commitment to Bumble Inc.’s mission, focusing on women, equality, integrity, and kindness.

Bumble has been notable for its commitment to women’s safety initiatives, advocating for measures like making cyber-flashing illegal in the UK and EU. Cyber-flashing was indeed criminalised in the UK under the Online Safety Act in October. Bumble’s platform also enforces bans on users who engage in body shaming. Similar to other dating apps, it employs AI to detect and handle sensitive content like nude photos in private chats, allowing recipients to choose whether to view or block such images. Whitney Wolfe Herd’s transition to the role of executive chair signals a new chapter for Bumble, with Lidiane Jones poised to lead the company and explore the integration of AI to enhance user experiences.