Contributed by: ElyseRomano Wednesday, September 28 2016 @ 06:45 am
Goodbye Neil Clark Warren, hello Grant Langston. eHarmony is bidding farewell to its founder and CEO following 81-year-old Warren’s return to retirement.
Yes, return. After creating the company in 2000, Warren went on Retirement #1 in 2007. eHarmony struggled in his absence, finding it hard to remain fresh and relevant in the increasingly competitive online dating market.
Just four years later, in a move his friends called “crazy,” Warren came out of retirement at 78 to become eHarmony’s chief executive once again. His second tenure in the role saw employee layoffs, significant changes in management, closures of international operations, and the launch of a bundle of new products and services. When all was said and done, the floundering website had found its way back to relevance.
Now that his mission has been accomplished, Warren is bound for round two of retirement. Grant Langston, former vice president of brand marketing, has stepped up as eHarmony’s new CEO in the wake of Warren’s departure.
Langston says he will make improving the company’s website and app a top priority. Newer dating services like Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel, and of course the ubiquitous Tinder, have won over millions of millennials. The coveted generations of young users gravitate to their modern features like simple interfaces and social media integration. eHarmony is practically antique in comparison.
Langston hopes to rocket the service squarely into 2016. “The product hasn’t gotten the attention it needs,” he told the Los Angeles Times[*1] . “We want to match you on things below the surface, so we’re always going to be more involved than other dating services, but we’ve got to do that in a simpler way with a seamless mobile experience.”
He promises that “significant changes” are on their way. And the deadline? “ASAP.”
Leading the charge is Ken Walker, a former executive at job search startup ZipRecruiter who is now eHarmony’s chief product officer. He has his work cut out for him. Warren focused on other aspects of the business, ignoring product and marketing in the process. Already eHarmony’s renewed interest in those facets has showed promising signs of improvement.
Warren called Langston “a guiding influence for the company” in a statement about the changes. Indeed, Langston’s previous experience leading the social media team makes him a rarity amongst CEOs and could herald many timely changes for the company.
What won’t change is eHarmony’s recent advances into the world of job searches and, most importantly, its commitment to helping singles find “a real relationship and real love.”