Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman is stepping down in wake of a hack that exposed reality TV stars’ husbands as customers.
Biderman announced on Friday he will also resign from his position as CEO of Avid Life Media, the parent company of Ashley Madison. The decision to find new leadership comes after a devastating hack exposed the identity of 40 million users who had accounts on the dating website that catered to married people hoping to have an affair.
“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 Life Media said in a statement. “We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals.”
The statement also said that the company will continue to operate its dating websites (the company runs two more) and that it will be led by its existing senior management team until a new CEO is chosen.
According to Avid Life Media, the team is “actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals. 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.”
“19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar was among the wreckage, while “Jersey Shore” star Snooki Polizzi’s husband, Jionni Lavalle, allegedly had an account on the site as well, along with the husband of “Real Housewives of New York” star Kristen Taekman.
“I signed up for the site foolishly and ignorantly with a group of friends and I deeply apologize for any embarrassment or pain I have brought to my wife and family,” Taekman’s husband, Josh Taekman, previously told TheWrap. “We both look forward to moving past this and getting on with our lives.”
Before that, Duggar owned up to the account by admitting he is guilty of being “the biggest hypocrite ever.”
“While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,” he said in a statement.
This week, a report revealed that 101 ESPN employees joined the site from work, 39 of which even used their company email addresses. The remaining potential cheaters were found using an IP Address search that targeted office computers.