Zoosk, Inc., a leading global online dating platform, today announced that it named Kelly Steckelberg as chief executive officer, effective immediately.
Steckelberg, previously the chief financial officer and chief operating officer, succeeds co-founder Shayan Zadeh, who will remain on the Zoosk board of directors, but will step back from a management role. President and co-founder Alex Mehr likewise will step down, but remain a board member.
Throughout the four years Steckelberg has worked for Zoosk, her role has continued to expand. She was promoted after one year to COO, taking on the additional responsibility of overseeing user operations, while continuing to lead as CFO. In the last year, she’s also taken on an expanded role in setting the marketing agenda. Steckelberg brings a strong background in operations, management and leadership to the CEO role. She joined the company in 2011 from Cisco Systems, where she held various roles, including divisional CFO for the Consumer Segment and for WebEx, which gave her extensive experience building large-scale subscription businesses. Steckelberg was named one of the most influential women in the Bay Area in 2014 by the San Francisco Business Times.
Zadeh and Mehr believe that new leadership will help to further drive the company’s strategy and to bring a stronger, customer-centric approach to all facets of the company. Together with the Board of Directors and management team, they decided to step down from their day-to-day roles. Both Zadeh and Mehr will continue to serve as advisors to the company.
“While this was an extremely difficult decision, Alex and I agreed that this was the right inflection point for Zoosk to carry out the long-planned transition from a founder-led company to a professionally-led company,” Zadeh said. “I am incredibly proud of how far Zoosk has come, and I am confident in Kelly’s stewardship of the company as she leads it into the future.”
“Shayan and I both worked hard to build the successful company Zoosk has become, and we have known for some time that professional leadership is needed to help Zoosk realize its bright future,” Mehr said. “We remain committed to Zoosk and are excited about the vision and passion Kelly brings to the CEO role.”
“Shayan and Alex built Zoosk from the ground up into the incredibly valuable and successful company it is today,” Steckelberg said. “I’ve witnessed their passionate leadership since I joined the company, and I’m thrilled by the opportunity to take the helm as we enter a new phase in Zoosk’s development.”
In connection with this transition, Zoosk also announced that it is delaying its plans to become a public company and will reevaluate in the coming months.
Zoosk is a leading online dating company that learns as you click in order to pair you with singles with whom you’re likely to discover mutual attraction. Zoosk’s Behavioral Matchmaking™ technology is constantly learning from the actions of more than 29 million members in order to deliver better matches. With the #1 grossing dating app and a top 25 grossing app on the iPhone in the United States, Zoosk is a market leader in mobile dating. Available in over 80 countries and translated into 25 languages, Zoosk is a global online dating platform.
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