Bumble undergoes a CEO shakeup as recession fears make singles forego pricey dating apps and the company’s stock tanks 80% in 2 years

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd will step down from the dating app she founded after its shares tumbled 83% since an initial public offering over two years ago.

Lidiane Jones, current CEO of workplace messaging tool Slack, will take over in January.

The shakeup comes as the online dating industry, Bumble included, faces a huge challenge: How to get consumers to shell out for a dating app when the economy is so uncertain? For now, that uncertainty is sending shares of rival Match tumbling alongside Bumble’s.

Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014 with the idea of creating a dating app that let women make the first move, thereby reducing the unsolicited messages that many were bombarded with on other services. As a dating app founded by a woman and designed for women, Bumble burst onto the scene as a breath of fresh air.

In the months after the pandemic, online dating apps experienced a rise in popularity, as people eagerly to kickstarted their romantic lives after being isolated from others during lockdowns. But more recently, growth has slowed.

Bumble, which currently has 40 million active monthly users across its portfolio of apps, is now fiercely fighting for users with Match, the owner of OKCupid and Tinder. To keep pace, Bumble is having to spend more on product development and marketing

The company has also faced questions about its efforts to diversify from its core online dating business. Under the Bumble brand, it added several features to help users find friends and network for their careers, but they have yet to catch on.

“Bumble has failed to execute on its vision of becoming a broader women’s platform for beyond dating use cases like friendship and professional networking,” analysts from investment bank Jefferies said recently. “How the new CEO manages these non-core use cases is a key question.”

Jones, a tech industry veteran of Sonos, Microsoft, and Slack parent company Salesforce, has only been Slack’s CEO for 11 months before being tapped to lead Bumble. Her experience delivering high-profile product upgrades for digital platforms with large user…


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