Austin-based dating app Bumble finds a new match with current Slack CEO
Some great matches can't last forever, and that even applies to woman at the top of a dating giant. Bumble, the popular dating app based in Austin where women have to message first, will soon have a new leader.
Whitney Wolfe Herd is stepping down as Bumble's CEO effective January 2, 2024, according to a statement by the company. This is an especially big change not just because of Bumble's status — or Wolfe Herd's as an especially young female former billionaire (more on this later) — but also because she founded Bumble.
Lidiane Jones, the current CEO of employee communication platform Slack, will be stepping in to fill Herd's shoes. She will remain with Slack until the end of 2023. This change may test Bumble's ability to stick to its existing tone and mission, but the former CEO will be transitioning to Executive Chair — so she won't be far when advice is needed.
"It’s a monumental moment, one that has taken a great deal of time, consideration and care, for me to pass the baton to a leader and a woman I deeply respect," said Wolfe Heard in the statement. "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."
The change in direction comes in the middle of dramatically changing stock value, so it's hard to say where the valuation is headed as a result.
Forbesreported that "The move follows an extended slide for Bumble stock since the company’s February 2021 initial public offering; Bumble’s $13.67 share price at Friday’s market close was 83% below its all-time high of $78.89 achieved in its first week of trading." It also pointed out that Wolfe Herd lost her billionaire status as a result (but we think she'll be okay).
Bumble looms especially large for Austinites in its home town, and stays relevant with fun events, stunts, and a forward-thinking public consciousness. In 2014, as Tinder users took advantage of the lax platform — making profiles with no words or faces and sending disturbing first messages — Bumble entered the scene with ostensibly higher standards.
It has since expanded to include "BFF" and "Bizz" sub-platforms for people looking for friends and business connections, respectively, but is still mostly seen as a dating app. As a now-mainstream app, most users anecdotally report that it attracts all the same people; they just play a slightly different game on each app.
Jones' background is less flowery, and touches on "productivity, enterprise scalability, and machine learning" according to the statement. Her involvement holds promise, it adds, for potential "AI innovation" applied to the same goal: a safer experience meeting new people.
“I have long admired Bumble’s mission," said Jones, "and it is truly a privilege to join Bumble Inc. as CEO and work alongside Whitney and such an amazing global team... As a woman who has spent her career in technology, 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.”