Noel Biderman, the CEO of Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Life Media, has resigned in the wake of the high-profile hacking scandal that has spawned an international law enforcement investigation and lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada.
Avid Life Media said in a statement Friday morning that Mr. Biderman is no longer with the company effective immediately, ending his tenure atop a Canadian firm that oversaw Ashley Madison and similar adult-oriented commercial dating sites, including Cougar Life and Established Men.
The company said Mr. Biderman’s departure is the result of a mutual agreement with Avid, and its existing senior management team will lead operations in the interim while a new CEO is sought.
“This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees. We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base,” Avid said in a statement.
Ashley Madison was launched in 2001 and generated millions of dollars annually through membership costs and other fees paid by account holders who were promised an easy way of meeting adults interested in pursuing extramarital affairs.
Hackers calling themselves the Impact Team breached the site earlier this year, and last week began publishing sensitive data stolen from its servers including personal user info, transaction records and corporate files.
Attorneys representing clients in the U.S. and Canada have filed lawsuits in the days following the leak accusing Avid of failing to protect user data and lying about its “paid delete” feature, which the company advertised as a means of letting former Ashley Madison members have their records on the site permanently purged for less than $20.
Data leaked by hackers suggest the company did not delete user data as promised, and suits have since been brought in California, Missouri, Texas, Ontario and elsewhere.
Avid said earlier this week that it would pay $500,000 for information leading to the conviction of the cybercriminals responsible for the breach, and on Friday acknowledged they are still “actively cooperating with international law enforcement in an effort to bring those responsible for the theft of proprietary member and business information to justice.”
User data pertaining to upwards of 37 million accounts holders is said to have been leaked by the hackers.