Whitney Wolfe Herd Named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40
Whitney Wolfe Herd is most known for helping turn Bumble, the famous online dating site that puts women in the driver’s seat as the only ones who are allowed to initially contact matches in opposite-sex matches, into one of the most powerful ones in the field. In her role as founder and CEO of Bumble, she has also navigated several challenging situations over the first part of 2018.
As a result of those recent accomplishments and her work related and unrelated to Bumble over the past several years, Fortune named her to its 2018 40 Under 40 list, its annual ranking of those who are most influencing the business world before they’ve hit the age of 40. In fact, she hasn’t even hit 30 yet.
Guns Banned from Bumble Profile Pictures
On March 5, Whitney Wolfe Herd oversaw Bumble removing almost all profile pictures that included guns in them in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that had taken place a few weeks earlier.
The only exceptions were those in law enforcement or the military if they are carrying guns while in uniform in the pictures posted to their profiles and any pictures drawn from users’ Instagram accounts that happened to have guns in them. The reasoning behind this move was that she and the company did not want to promote a community where users might feel threatened or not at ease. The intent behind it was that Bumble was taking a hard stance against normalizing violence as it relates to Bumble. The company’s gun-related policy is now similar to how it had previously handled fake photos and those that contained nudity.
Bumble also cut ties with the National Rifle Association and donated $100,000 to March For Our Lives, an anti-gun violence organization that had been started by survivors of the shooting in Parkland.
Partnership with the Los Angeles Clippers
The next day, Whitney Wolfe helped oversee the announcement of a partnership between Bumble and the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers in which it was revealed that the dating app’s logo, also referred to at the time as an empowerment badge, will now be featured on the team’s jerseys for the next several years. The move was immediate as the logo was worn in the Clippers’ home game versus the New Orleans Pelicans that evening.
The marketing partnership was celebrated as the bringing together of a pair of organizations that have strong female leadership committed to promoting gender equality. The Clippers are led by the NBA’s largest female leadership team, and Gillian Zucker is the only female president of an NBA club in the 30-team league. According to Whitney Wolfe, this marked the first partnership between a major professional sports team with a female-driven brand.
Bumble Breaks up With Facebook
Prior to April 17, Bumble had required that its users connect their accounts with their Facebook profiles as a means to help prove that they are who they say they are. However, that changed on that day when the organization removed this requirement effective immediately as a result of wanting to distance itself from the social media website after it had been revealed just how much data mining that Facebook had been involved with as a result of the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal. Just a phone number is required now to complete Bumble profiles. This move was made as the result of users being hesitant to use Facebook and, as a result, being hesitant to use dating apps and websites that required a Facebook account such as Bumble had required before this change was made.
However, to help verify that people are who they say they are, Bumble is encouraging account holders to verify their accounts by sending in a selfie that mimics a pose provided and is of the person featured in other photos already featured on the account.
Bumble Refuses to be Purchased by Match Group
In August 2017, Match Group, an internet company that owns online dating sites such as Tinder, Match, OKCupid and PlentyOfFish, attempted to buy Bumble for $450 million but was turned down. Then, on March 16, the organization sued Bumble, filing a patent infringement lawsuit that day in U.S. district court in Waco, Texas. Tinder, who Bumble broke away from when it was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, was also founded by her in 2011 shortly before she later left the app and sued the company for sexual discrimination and harassment, a suit that was later settled for $1 million.
Bumble placed a full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News and The New York Times four days after the Match Group-Bumble suit was filed. The advertisement consisted of a letter written by Bumble to Match Group that said in part, “We swipe left on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and, now, to intimidate us. We’ll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we’ll never compromise our values.”
Read the full ad here.
Whitney Wolfe Herd Joins Imagine Entertainment Board
The latest news as it relates to this talented entrepreneur occurred on July 10, which is when it was announced that she had joined the Imagine Entertainment board of directors. The decision was made by chairmen Ron Howard and Brian Gazer, and she will join Tom Freston, Michael Lynton, Richard Rosenblatt and Jeff Sagansky on the board. The move to include the Bumble founder was done partly because she was viewed as somebody who thinks differently than others on the board do but who also understands the importance of telling a story and the value of making connections between people.
Imagine Entertainment is behind a number of feature films, television programs and other programming. Some of the productions that it has been involved with over the years include “Kindergarten Cop,” “Backdraft,” “Apollo 13,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Empire” and “The Spy Who Dumped Me.”
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