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Bumble shares drop as founder Wolfe Herd to relinquish CEO role

:Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd will step down as CEO of the dating apps operator and hand over the role to seasoned executive Lidiane Jones, knocking its shares down 10 per cent to a record on Monday.

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

“We view Whitney’s departure as a near-to-midterm headwind for business operations and a negative for overall company morale,” said analysts at Evercore ISI.

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.

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 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 eastern Europe and competition from larger rival Match.

“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. How the new CEO manages these non-core use cases is a key question,” analysts at Jefferies said.

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-fifths since then as those tailwinds waned.

Bumble will report its third-quarter results on Tuesday.

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