Public online dating company SNAP Interactive has a new CEO.
Former CFO Alex Harrington has replaced co-founder Cliff Lerner as head of the company.
Lerner, who created SNAP with brother Darrell in 2005, will take the newly-created role of President of The Grade, SNAP’s new mobile product.
The change occurs as of 13th October, and Lerner says it is part of a new strategy to help SNAP unlock shareholder value.
Harrington will lead the company forward to help SNAP build a portfolio of dating apps, along with optimising the monetisation of their large user base.
He will also be tasked with achieving SNAP’s “ultimate goal” – listing the company on a national securities exchange.
Lerner said: “As we look to pursue potential business opportunities, Alex’s experience in entrepreneurial growth and mergers and acquisitions will be invaluable. He has a combined 20 years of leadership experience in digital businesses and investment banking, including having served as CEO of a fast-growing mobile dating start-up.”
Harrington previously was the CEO of MeetMoi, a mobile dating brand that was acquired by Match.com.
He also served as SVP of Strategy and Operations at Zagat Survey for four years, which was later sold to Google, before joining SNAP in 2014 first as COO, then CFO.
The company is currently looking for a new CFO to replace Harrington.
Speaking about the future of SNAP, Harrington said: “We believe that the dating industry is finally entering the mainstream, but there is a large potential for new brands and services to disrupt this multi-billion dollar sector. The industry is also highly-fragmented and ripe with opportunity for consolidation. By some estimates, there are over 8,000 competitors in the online dating services market worldwide.
“In an industry where there are significant barriers to achieving scale, SNAP is an established leader with a database of over 30 million unique users and over ten years invested in core infrastructure. Our industry expertise, world-class platform and user base size form the nucleus of the multi-platform, portfolio-driven approach which drives our growth.”
It’s been a very quick ascension for Harrington since joining the company last year, his skill and expertise clearly impressing the board, with SNAP continuing to achieve solid growth.
As mentioned by Lerner, it also seems as if SNAP may be looking to grow the company by way of acquisitions, most likely in the mobile space, to help grow its portfolio of apps.
It’ll also be interesting to see what Lerner can do with The Grade, and whether he can create shareholder value from the app by bringing revenue in, and what method of monetisation they will choose.