Whitney Wolfe Herd,

The founder and chief executive of one of the biggest dating apps in the world is stepping down after nearly 10 years in charge.

Whitney Wolfe Herd, who created the company in 2014, will become Bumble Inc's executive chair.

She will be replaced by Slack boss Lidiane Jones, who will take up the role in January.

Ms Wolfe Herd said she was passing the "the baton to a leader and a woman I deeply respect".

The 34-year-old Ms Wolfe Herd became the world's youngest self-made female billionaire when she took Bumble public in February 2021.

She created the company in 2014, and differentiated the app to rivals by putting women in control of interactions.

Ms Wolfe Herd has said she was inspired to create a platform where women "make the first move" by her frustration with archaic gender norms controlling dating.

Unlike most dating apps, only female users can make the first contact with matched male users, while in same-sex matches either person can send a message first.

Just after its flotation, Bumble Inc's shares hit a high of $75 but have since tumbled and, following the announcement that Ms Wolfe Herd is stepping down, they dropped to an all-time low of $12.77.

Match Group, Bumble's rival which owns Tinder and Hinge, has also seen its share price drop in that time.

However, Ms Wolfe Herd said she was "incredibly optimistic about the future".

"I believe in Bumble Inc's significant potential today more than ever before," she added.

'AI can play such a big role'

Ms Jones is taking over as the boss of Bumble Inc, the parent company of Bumble and its other products which include friendship and business networking apps.

She has been chief executive of Slack, an instant messaging platform popular with workplaces, since January 2023.

Before that, she worked at Slack's parent company Salesforce and Microsoft.

"As a woman who has spent her career in technology, it's a gift to lean on my experience to lead a company dedicated to women and encouraging equality, integrity and kindness, all deeply personal and inspiring to me," Ms Jones said in a statement.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, Ms Jones said she wants to integrate more AI features into Bumble Inc's products.

"AI can play such a big role in accelerating people finding the right person, finding the right friends and the right community," she said.

Before Bumble, Ms Wolfe Herd was among the founding team at Tinder but after tensions with other executives - one of whom she had been dating - she left. Shortly after, she launched a sexual harassment case.

Tinder's parent company, Match Group Inc, denied the claims but paid around $1m (£810,000) to settle the dispute.

Bumble has been known for backing women's safety campaigns, such as calling for cyber-flashing to be made illegal in the UK and EU.

Cyber-flashing became illegal in the UK as part of the Online Safety Act in October.

Bumble says it bans users who body shame others, and similar to other dating apps, it uses AI to detect nude photos sent in private chats and lets the recipient to choose to view or block the images.