Noel Biderman is to step down from his position as CEO of Avid Life Media, the parent company of infidelity network Ashley Madison.
Avid Life Media revealed Biderman’s departure in a short statement released this Friday. Ashley Madison has been in the headlines for the past week after hackers posted the personal details of users online, writes Adi Robertson for The Verge.
Hack exposes questionable practices under former CEO Biderman
“This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees,” reads the statement. “We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base.”
A new CEO will not immediately be appointed, and “the existing senior management team” will run Avid Life Media until a suitable candidate is found.
Ashley Madison is marketed to men and women looking to indulge in extramarital affairs. Users were understandably outraged to find that their personal details had been published online in a searchable database.
Perhaps even worse news for the company was that it had offered users the chance to fully delete their profile, but had kept their details on file even after charging them $19 for the “Full Delete” service.
“Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,”wrote hacking group the Impact Team. “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”
Avid Life Media seeks to identify hackers behind Ashley Madison breach
Stolen data also shines a light on other questionable business practices at Ashley Madison, with private messages suggesting that Biderman and Avid Life Media’s CTO had discussed the possibility of hacking the competition.
The company claims that it is pursuing those responsible for the hack, and Ashley Madison will remain operational.
“We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals,” it says. “We will continue to provide access to our unique platforms for our worldwide members. We are actively cooperating with international law enforcement in an effort to bring those responsible for the theft of proprietary member and business information to justice.”
In the aftermath of the hack, a class-action lawsuit against the company was filed in Canada, while another lawsuit in California is pursuing class-action status.