-- Noel Biderman, the CEO of Avid Life Media, the parent company of adultery website Ashley Madison, is stepping down from the company in the wake of an unprecedented hack that left 37 million customers exposed.
"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," a statement posted on Avid Life Media's website said. "We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members' privacy by criminals."
Nicknamed the "King of Infidelity," Biderman was the chief operating officer of the former parent company of Ashley Madison. When the adultery website was sold to Avid Life Media in 2007, Biderman became president of the new parent company. He gained the title of CEO in 2010.
Avid Life Media plans to continue to operate its dating websites and will be led by its senior management team until a new CEO is appointed, the statement said. The company also reiterated its commitment to protecting its customer base while also working with law enforcement to find the person or group responsible for the massive data breach.
A 500,000 Canadian dollar reward (approximately $376,000 USD) is being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
Personal data believed to have been stolen from Ashley Madison was posted on the dark Web a little more than a week ago, apparently exposing names, email addresses and phone numbers for some of the website's 37 million members, among other information.
The data dump came one month after Avid Life Media confirmed a "criminal intrusion" into its system.
Going by the name "The Impact Team," the hacker or hackers said the breach was spurred by a disagreement with Avid Life Media's business practices, specifically a "full delete" feature. For $19, the company allows repentant cheaters to scrub their information from the website.
"Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It's also a complete lie," the Impact Team wrote after the hack last month. "Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed."
Business practices aside, the hacker or hackers also had another message: "Too bad for those men, they're cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion...Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn't deliver."