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Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman quits in wake of hacking scandal

Published 28/08/2015

Ashley Madison's CEO Noel Biderman has resigned
Ashley Madison's CEO Noel Biderman has resigned

The CEO of adultery website Ashley Madison is stepping down in the wake of the massive breach of the company's computer systems and outing of millions of its members.

Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison's parent company, said Noel Biderman's departure was a mutual decision and is in the best interests of the company.

Hackers originally breached Avid Life's systems in July and posted the information online a month later after the company did not comply with their demands to shut down.

Ashley Madison, whose slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair", purports to have nearly 40 million members.

"This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees," said a statement from Avid Life. "We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base."

Mr Biderman, who touted himself as "the king of infidelity", made millions from the philosophy that cheating is a natural part of married life. The site charges a fee each time a member sends a potential lover a message.

Mr Biderman has written books on his views about adultery, including one published in 2011 called Cheaters Prosper - How Infidelity Will Save The Modern Marriage.

At the same time, the married father-of-two has claimed to be a devoted husband and that his wife of 12 years would be heartbroken if he ever broke his vows to her.

Privately held Toronto-based Avid Life grossed 115 million US dollars in earnings last year, according to tax documents and figures shared by Mr Biderman with Forbes.

Avid Life's statement went on to say that it is "actively adjusting" to the fallout from the hacking and continues to provide access to its services. The company, which has offered a 500,000 Canadian dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of the hackers, adds that it continues to cooperate with international law enforcement in its investigations.

Hackers originally breached Avid Life's systems in July, accusing it of filling the site with fake profiles and charging fees for wiping profiles that were never truly deleted. The hackers posted the information online a month later after the company did not comply with their demands to shut down.

The posting of the data - including names, emails, home addresses, financial data and message history - has so far resulted in a flurry of lawsuits throughout the US. There have also been reports of extortion attempts and two unconfirmed suicides, according to Canadian police.

The credit card information of US government workers - some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress and the Justice Department - was also revealed in the breach. Hundreds of email addresses in the data release appear to be connected to federal, provincial and municipal workers across Canada.

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