Match names Zynga President Bernard Kim as CEO, replacing Shar Dubey – TechCrunch
Dating app giant Match is about to have a new CEO. Just over two years later assume the position of top executive, Match CEO and 16-year employee Shar Dubey will step down. The company announced today, along with its first quarter incomeShar Dubey will step down as an employee of Match Group but will remain on the company’s board and continue to serve as an advisor. Bernard KimZynga’s current chairman, will become CEO effective May 31, and will join Match’s board of directors.
Kim has been president of Zynga since 2016 and has overseen several key functions, including global marketing, user acquisition, revenue, consumer insights, data science, management products, mergers and acquisitions as well as communications, Match said. Kim is also credited with expanding the company into new markets including blockchain and hyper-casual games, as well as new platforms like Nintendo Switch, Snapchat, and smart home devices. He also helped quadruple the market capitalization of Zynga before $12.7 Billion Acquired by Take-Two in January 2022. Prior to Zynga, Kim spent nearly 10 years at EA, as SVP of Mobile Publishing and before that worked at The Walt Disney Company.
The move to bring in a mobile game executive to lead a dating app company is an interesting choice, especially as Match is looking to grow its business beyond sports-based matchmaking. traditional swipes and into the so-called “metaverse”. Match talked about it before plan a metaverse date, complete with a virtual goods-based economy, real-time audio, and the ability for online data providers to meet in a virtual space to chat. Also, Match’s flagship dating app Tinder has started tested last fall with interactive, social experiences in the new Explore Tinder section, which aims to help push the line between dating and overlapping in-app socialization. And Match’s ever-larger HyperConnect acquisition, which now powers various products across Match, Meetic, Pairs and POF, is pushing Match further into the online social network. With Kim’s background with Zynga – a company that initially built its empire as a social gaming platform on Facebook’s platform – new moderators can provide insights on how to guide Match as it expands into new social and interactive spaces.
“I am honored to be joining Match Group’s talented team at such an important time, as the company continues to see strong momentum, strong user engagement, and great customer experiences. Enthusiastic employees are driven to bring joy to millions of users from all walks of life,” said Bernard Kim, in a statement. “I deeply admire Shar Dubey’s leadership and Match Group’s strong mission to create meaningful connections for people around the world today and in the future.”
Shar Dubey said: “I feel very honored that I can step down from my day-to-day executive role and have the time and space to focus on what is hopefully the ‘give back’ chapter of my life. “As a director and advisor, I will have the flexibility to stick to the aspects of the business that I love – product and strategy. I leave the company in great hands. With Bernard’s energy, fresh thinking and broad mobile technology and consumer business experience, combined with more than 70 years of institutional knowledge and portfolio experience of executives and As our brand leader at Match Group, I’m excited about this next phase of the company and category. ”
The company reported Q1 income was $799 million, up 20% year-on-year, above Wall St. estimated $794 million, and operating income grew 10% year-over-year to $208 million, representing a 26% operating margin. Tinder’s direct revenue grew 18% year-over-year thanks to 17% growth in paid subscribers to 10.7 million. Across all dating app brands, Match’s monthly active users hit 100 million at the end of the quarter. However, the company warned that Google’s change to force payments through its own system would result in an estimated negative impact of $6 million starting June 1. Shares of Match fell. 6% after earnings are reported.