Tinder’s first female CEO after less than a year
Tinder’s new CEO is out after less than a year on the job, marking the second high-profile female executive to leave parent company Match Group in months.
New Match Group CEO Bernard Kim announced the departure of Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg on Tuesday in a letter to shareholders that described his “observations” after 62 days on the job.
“Our goal is to inspire our brands to optimize everything we do and build the best teams internally to deliver the best services externally,” Kim wrote, noting that Tinder has failed to execute products, attract new users and entice people to spend. money even though it has continued to add new bells and whistles to its app over the past few quarters. These additions include an integration with Spotify called “Music Mode,” which lets users share “Anthem” music on their profile, and “Blind Date,” a feature that matches people based on their interests before revealing their photos.
The letter accompanied the dating app giant’s earnings for the three months ending June, which sent Match Group shares tumbling 20% on Wednesday. Match Group, which owns companies such as Tinder, Hinge, OKCupid and Match.com, said while most of its business benefited from the widespread availability of Covid vaccines in the second half of 2021, which led people to engage more offline, it hasn’t seen the same kind of push in 2022.
Match Group posted total revenue of $795 million, up 12% from the same quarter last year, but below its forecast of $800 million to $810 million. In a call to discuss its revenue on Wednesday, Match Group’s chief financial officer noted that Tinder’s lower-than-expected revenue contribution had a “significant negative effect on our business’s overall margins.”
Tinder has always been a bright spot for the company, making up the majority of active Wallet users, who are among the youngest to date online. Last quarter, Match Group touted Tinder’s ability to show consistent growth in its user base as it continued to look for new and different ways to incentivize that growth.
But not all of them make sense in practice. While the company has gone through two CEOs since the start of the pandemic, it has also thrown a number of new features and products to the wall to see what sticks. Now Kim hopes to right the ship. He noted in the letter the “mixed results” of testing Tinder Coins, a virtual currency announced last year. “We’ve decided to take a step back and re-examine this initiative so it can contribute more effectively to Tinder’s revenue,” he wrote.
Nyborg was appointed chief executive at the end of September 2021, taking the reins from Jim Lanzone, a media manager who had been in the role for about a year. Nyborg was celebrated by Match Group as the “first female CEO of [the] world’s best dating app” in its 10-year history.
At the time, Shar Dubey, then-CEO of Match Group, touted Nyborg in a press release as “relentlessly focused on accelerating growth and developing experiences based on what our members – especially women – seek”. Nyborg had been running Tinder’s European business since joining in 2020.
In May, Dubey stepped down and Kim, who was previously president of video game developer Zynga, took the helm. Kim said the search is underway for a new CEO for Tinder. Meanwhile, Kim has announced a new team of executives he will oversee (“all highly successful executives within Match Group or that I have known for many years”) to manage day-to-day operations. He said the company “remains focused” on previously announced initiatives, including steps to “better serve our female users.”