Whitney Wolfe Herd, the Founder and CEO of female-first social platform Bumble, has issued a statement in response to the Forbes report on workplace misconduct at Badoo HQ.
The article described stories of “misogyny and sleaze” from the company’s early days, highlighting raucous office parties and cases of alleged bullying.
In the wake of its publication, some commentary has focused on the disconnect between Bumble’s mission of female empowerment and the claims made by former Badoo employees.
“All of us at Bumble are mortified by the allegations about Badoo (Bumble’s majority owner) from the years before Bumble was born, as chronicled in the Forbes story. I am saddened and sickened to hear that anyone, of any gender, would ever be made to feel marginalized or mistreated in any capacity at their workplace.
“From my time speaking with the reporter, I was only able to share my personal experiences, which have been nothing but positive and respectful, ranging from 2014, before Bumble existed, and during the 5 years since. To this day, we at Bumble have never seen or heard of any of this behavior from any team members, and if we had we would have never tolerated it. However, I would never challenge someone’s feelings or experiences. I offered to the reporter to extend my contact info to anyone who felt their experience was negative and said I would be an ally and open ear to them. That offer still stands.
“As a woman who has been through dark times, please know that I am deeply sorry for anything that could have taken place that made anyone feel uncomfortable before my time building Bumble. And know that I feel personally responsible by association for the well-being of each and every team member in the group, regardless of what company or what office around the world, from the past or the present.
“Badoo is currently conducting an investigation into the allegations, as well as compiling documentation to expose the factual inaccuracies that exist within the article. I’d like to take the opportunity to clarify that I was never copied on any email from these allegations, as Forbes suggested. I learned of the majority of these allegations at the same time as the public.
“We at Bumble remain fiercely committed to our mission, while being openly apologetic to anyone who feels our mission is compromised. We assure you that we would never conduct business in a manner contradictory to our values and would never tolerate the type of toxic behavior described by Forbes.”
Wolfe Herd’s comments came after MagicLab, the newly formed umbrella to both Badoo and Bumble, issued a statement of its own.
That statement, presented to Business Insider, called the Forbes feature “reckless” and decried the fact that “(…) corrections were largely ignored”.
A Forbes spokesperson has come forward with a riposte, published again in TechCrunch. It reads: “The responses [to the article] are designed to obfuscate and deflect from the facts as borne out by the rigorous reporting. (…) We stand by our reporting 100 percent.”
Read more here.