EXCLUSIVE: Bumble reaches majority female C-suite with the hire of a new chief people officer

November 10, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

Bumble’s journey to becoming a public company included a tricky corporate rebrand. As part of the deal that put CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd at the helm of Bumble’s parent company, the female-focused dating app had to emerge as more than just one app among many—it needed to be seen as the force driving and defining the new Bumble Inc.

Today, Bumble reaches a leadership milestone that helps cement that positioning: The company’s senior leadership team is now majority-women. It crosses that threshold with the hire of former Dunkin’ chief human resources officer Stephanie Lilak as chief people officer. With Lilak on board, women now account for seven out of 12 members of its executive leadership team.

“We’re honored to have someone with Stephanie’s incredible track record and leadership join our team,” Bumble founder and CEO Wolfe Herd said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to partnering with her to build our global people and culture organization into a best in class function that meets the rapidly evolving needs and aspirations of a team that’s grown to over 800 worldwide in a matter of just a few years.”

Bumble’s new chief people officer, Stephanie Lilak.
Courtesy of Bumble

Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014 as a dating app that required women in heterosexual matches to make the first move, changing the culture of online dating and helping to cut down on unwanted messages received by women. The app was built with resources from the company MagicLab, which operated the online dating service Badoo, a platform with a strong following outside the U.S.

Before its 2021 IPO—and after the departure of Badoo founder Andrey Andreev and a new majority stake from Blackstone—the company rebranded MagicLab as Bumble Inc. and elevated Wolfe Herd to CEO of not just the Bumble app, but the entire business.

Surpassing gender parity in the C-suite is a milestone for the company, Bumble said in a press release. Lilak joins an executive team that includes chief brand officer Selby Drummond; chief legal and compliance officer Laura Franco; chief of staff Caroline Ellis Roche; chief financial officer Anuradha B. Subramanian; and chief customer officer Charley Webb. Bumble’s board of directors is made up of eight women and three men.

While gender equity has been at the center of Bumble’s stated mission since its founding, it is, at heart, a tech company, operating in an industry where gender parity in the C-suite remains rare.

“I am excited to join Bumble, an extraordinary, mission-led company, committed to creating safe spaces for healthy and equitable relationships for everyone,” Lilak said in a statement. “I look forward to partnering with leaders and employees across Bumble to help build a healthy and empowering work environment where all employees can grow and thrive.”

Bumble also highlighted in a news release some other recent additions to its team, including VP of product Vivienne Sung; global head of talent acquisition Cheri Eisen; global VP of partnerships Olivia Yu; VP of global brand design Stephanie Kim Simons; VP of member safety Rachel Haas; head of public policy for North America Payton Iheme; and head of investor relations Cherryl Valenzuela.

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