Whitney Wolfe Herd, who founded the women-centered dating app Bumble a decade ago, is stepping down and will be replaced by Lidiane Jones, the chief executive of the workplace-messaging platform Slack, Bumble said on Monday.
Ms. Jones will succeed Ms. Wolfe Herd as chief executive of Bumble on Jan. 2, the company said. Ms. Wolfe Herd will remain at Bumble as its executive chair. The news was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.
Ms. Wolfe Herd, 34, who also is a co-founder of the dating app Tinder, said in a statement that she was passing the baton to a leader and a woman she deeply respected.
“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.
Bumble, which requires women to make the first move, went public in 2021, briefly making Ms. Wolfe Herd one of the world’s few female billionaires, according to Bloomberg. As of June, the dating app had 2.5 million paying users, according to Bumble’s second-quarter earnings report. Bumble will report its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday.
About a third of adults in the United States have used a dating app, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last year. But dating apps reported sluggish revenue increases and a slump in user growth last year, underscoring concern among some investors that the industry is oversaturated, according to a Morgan Stanley report.
The stock price of Match Group, which owns dozens of online dating services including Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid, Hinge and Plenty of Fish, fell more than 15 percent on Wednesday, a day after the company lowered its 2023 revenue projections in its third-quarter earnings report. The number of users paying for Tinder fell 6 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, Match said.
Ms. Jones, a native of Brazil, took the helm at Slack, a workplace communication platform owned by Salesforce, in January. Before that, she was an executive at Salesforce and spent nearly 13 years at Microsoft. She told The Wall Street Journal that she was focused on how Bumble could use artificial intelligence to accelerate matchmaking on the app.
“As a woman who has spent her career in technology,” Ms. Jones said in a statement, “it’s a gift to lean on my experience to lead a company dedicated to women and encouraging equality, integrity and kindness, all deeply personal and inspiring to me.”