Ashley Madison Parent Co. CEO Steps Down Following Data Hack

It’s been a bad couple months for Ashley Madison and its parent company Avid Life Media.

Reports about the company are now showing that things appeared to be getting bad for the company even before the hack hit. Fortune reported that the the hacking of Ashley Madison, the infidelity website that was hacked in July (with data officially being leaked last week) was just the tip of the iceberg for the company.

The hack also revealed that the company had been had difficulty raising funding for the past three years, according to company documents that were leaked by the hackers. The documents showed that some investors were backing out, and the possibility of going public was becoming less likely, according to the internal documents.

Other leaked messages shows that Avid Life Media’s CEO Noel Biderman was planning on setting up a meeting with IAC/InterActive Corp, which owns and Tinder. But later emails suggested that IAC was not interested in Ashley Madison.

In April, Avid Life Media, mentioned the concept of going public in London at a $1 billion valuation, Fortune reported. But that never materialized.

The company hit its latest hurdle last week when Biderman’s resignation was announced.

The company announced on its site Friday (Aug. 28) Biderman and the company made a mutual agreement for him to step down. That decision leaves the company without a clear leader, as the senior management team will be running the company until a new CEO can be appointed.

According to the company’s release on the matter: “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. We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals. We will continue to provide access to our unique platforms for our worldwide members.”

Details about the company’s continued efforts to work with authorities on discovering the identities of the hackers was also relayed in the release.

“We are actively cooperating with international law enforcement in an effort to bring those responsible for the theft of proprietary member and business information to justice.”

On Aug. 24, Avid Life Media also released a notice saying that they were working with Toronto Police Services, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the FBI. The company has gone as far as offering a $500,000 reward for anyone who provides the “Project Unicorn” law enforcement task forces with information that leads to the “identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of proprietary data.”

“In the very best interest of our customers, who have been affected by this malicious act, we are firmly committed to fully assisting these law enforcement and investigative authorities, without reserve. Because of this active and ongoing investigation, there is little more we can provide at this time to the media and the public,” Avid Life Media wrote in a news release.

The drama of the Ashley Madison hacking case continued long after the breach was discovered after the hackers dumped the stolen data online, which released the information of millions of people. This included more than 15,000 U.S. government email addresses.

The Ashley Madison hack in terms of the sheer amount of data was massive — 10 GB of data (and that was compressed) from over 33 million accounts — or the equivalent of four motion pictures worth of data. And within those accounts is a virtual buffet of personal information.

Home addresses, 36 million email addresses, phone numbers, partial payment data, first and last names and hashed passwords — and financial transactions.

Paid extra for the premium “guaranteed affair within three months” service? That’s in the records. Paid the company to delete your account and forget they ever saw you? That’s there too. All in, records documenting 9.6 million transactions were included in the full data dump – all of which appeared on an Onion (Tor) website.