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How a cancer diagnosis altered the career of Bumble’s former COO

September 30, 2021, 12:18 PM UTC
Bumble-former COO Sarah Jones Simmer
Former Bumble COO and incoming Found CEO Sarah Jones Simmer.
Chris Lammert

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Jamie Spears is out as Britney’s conservator, women’s college hoops will now be part of March Madness, and former Bumble COO Sarah Jones Simmer on how a cancer diagnosis changed her career trajectory. Have a great Thursday.

– Betting on herself. How would a cancer diagnosis change the direction of your life? It’s a prospect we hope to never face, but it’s one Sarah Jones Simmer, the former COO of Bumble, encountered in May 2020 when doctors told her she had breast cancer. The then 37-year-old mother of two realized almost immediately that she wanted to keep working.

“My work was a big part of my identity,” she told Emma in a new Fortune story published today. With cancer, “you lose your hair, you lose your chest, you lose your fertility,” she says. “I wanted to feel like I was bringing something into the world.”

So she and Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd narrowed the scope of her COO job to focus almost exclusively on the dating app company’s impending IPO. She drafted Bumble’s S-1 from her chemo chair and when the Austin-based firm went public in February, nine months after Jones Simmer started treatment, she joined colleagues at its headquarters to celebrate; it was the first time most had seen her with her regrowing hair.

But Jones Simmer’s diagnosis also made clear a long-term goal: to become a CEO. Now cancer-free, Jones Simmer is today announcing her new job as chief executive of Found, a year-old weight loss company that has been led by COO Swathy Prithivi.

Cancer gave Jones Simmer a “real understanding of how precious our time is,” she says. After pouring herself into Bumble, it’s time, she says, “to take that bet on myself.”

You can read Emma’s full story on Jones Simmer here.

Claire Zillman
claire.zillman@fortune.com
@clairezillman

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Bye, bye, bye. A judge yesterday suspended Jamie Spears as the conservator of Britney Spears' estate, removing the singer from her father's control for the first time in 13 years; her attorney has called Jamie "cruel, toxic, and abusive." The controversial conservatorship is still in place, but a temporary replacement conservator will oversee the pop star's finances. CNN

- Equal opportunity madness. For decades, the NCAA has only used the brand "March Madness" to apply to the men's college basketball tournament. For the first time next March, the slogan will be used to market women's games. The change comes after a review sparked by last year's notable disparities between the quality of weight rooms and COVID tests at the men's and women's events. WSJ

- Gather 'round. GM CEO Mary Barra will begin a two-year term as chair of the Business Roundtable, the lobbying group representing top CEOs throughout corporate America. Barra will be the first woman to lead the group; she takes over from Walmart chief Doug McMillon. Bloomberg

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Andrea O'Donnell, a Deckers exec, will become CEO of Everlane; she takes over from founder Michael Preysman. Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford and Zoetis CEO Kristin Peck join the board of BlackRock. Katty Kay, a former BBC journalist, resigned as a senior editor at Ozy following a report that a founder of the media brand impersonated a YouTube executive. Fidelity Investments hired Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas of UBS as chief sustainability officer. Netflix's Kelly Uphoff joins financial services startup Tala as chief technology officer. Welcome.US, a new organization working to welcome refugees from Afghanistan and elsewhere to the U.S., named Nazanin Ash CEO. At Virta Health, Yvonne Hao joins the board of directors while Jamie Anderson joins as general counsel and Marianne Borenstein joins as VP, customer success. Opendoor hired Amelia Generalis as chief people officer. Cloudflare chief product officer Jennifer Taylor joins the board of Freshworks. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Emotional hearing. Reps. Cori Bush, Barbara Lee, and Pramila Jayapal are scheduled to speak today about their personal experiences with abortion during a House hearing on abortion rights. Bush shared her story via Twitter and in an interview in advance of the hearing. She says she was raped at 17 and sought an abortion afterwards. In this interview, she says she isn't sure "how many times" she'll be able to tell the story. Vanity Fair

- 99% success. As the NBA continues to struggle with its COVID vaccine mandate as some players decline to get the shot, the WNBA has achieved a near-perfect vaccination rate across the league. The association says its vaccine decision-making was "player-led" and that's helped it reach a 99% vaccination rate. Sports Illustrated

- Center stage. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is at the center of politics on Capitol Hill thanks to her status as a Democratic holdout on much of the Biden agenda. But some Democrats who campaigned and voted for Sinema in Arizona have grown frustrated with her centrist stances. New York Times

ON MY RADAR

Tunisia's new prime minister is the first woman to lead a government in the Arab world NPR

Sarah Paulson on understanding, not defending, Linda Tripp Elle

Melanie Newman, Jessica Mendoza will be ESPN’s first all-female baseball duo AP

PARTING WORDS

"I want to do as much as I can while I still can." 

-Issa Rae on her "window" to create art in popular culture—and how it influences whether or not she wants kids

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