Bumble CEO Speaks Out Against Toxic Culture of Parent Company Badoo

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Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe
Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd spoke out against parent company Badoo in the wake of allegations made by more than a dozen employees that it promoted a toxic work culture, especially for women.

An exclusive by Forbes revealed allegations made by thirteen former Badoo employees who worked at the company’s London headquarters, citing a sexist office culture with drug-fueled parties, employees naming engineering updates after porn stars, and a widely circulated video of an employee receiving oral sex from a prostitute.

Forbes also said the employees specifically named Badoo owner Andrey Andreev, who also owns a majority stake in Bumble, of making derogatory comments around race and physical appearance.

Herd released a statement published on Business Insider, noting that the allegations were shocking and that her personal experience with Badoo has been “nothing but positive and respectful.”

“I am saddened and sickened to hear that anyone, of any gender, would ever be made to feel marginalized or mistreated in any capacity at their workplace,” she said. “As a woman who has been through dark times, please know that I am deeply sorry for anything that could have taken place that made anyone feel uncomfortable before my time building Bumble,” she explained.

She also noted that the incidents took place between 2010 and 2012, long before Bumble was founded in 2014.

Herd has dealt with workplace sexual harassment publicly before, notably during her time as a co-founder of Tinder. She sued her former employer on these grounds and settled for an undisclosed amount. When creating Bumble, she made it her mission to provide women with more access and power in all aspects of their lives, so that they could avoid experiences with such toxic work environments. The new allegations against Badoo come as a blow to her and her company’s mission.

Andreev has since released a statement saying that he is opening an independent investigation into the allegations and has hired Peninsula Group to ensure the protection and confidentiality of the process. “We commit now to making the findings of the investigation public and implementing the recommendations in our business,” he said.

Badoo is one of the world’s most popular dating apps, with about 60 million users.

Herd went on to say: “We at Bumble remain fiercely committed to our mission, while being openly apologetic to anyone who feels our mission is compromised. We assure you that we would never conduct business in a manner contradictory to our values and would never tolerate the type of toxic behavior described by Forbes.”