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Ashley Madison CEO steps down

The chief executive of dating website Ashley Madison is resigning, parent company Avid Life Media Inc. said Friday, following a hack that revealed millions of user names meant to be kept secret.

Noel Biderman founded the site in 2002 to make it easier for married people to find other married people to have affairs with.

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In regular media appearances, Biderman, who is married himself, has sworn that he would never cheat or use the site. But the hack, reported by Buzzfeed, uncovered emails suggesting that he was conducting multiple affairs.

Avid Life Media, which acquired Ashley Madison in 2007, said Biderman’s exit is by “mutual agreement.”

Ashley Madison is still up and running, even as the website, which claims more than 37 million members, says it is clamping down on data security.

“We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals,” Avid Life said in a statement. The senior management team will lead the company until a new CEO is named.

An analysis of Ashley Madison data on the Gizmodo website questions whether the vast majority of female profiles on the site were fake, citing spotty records of online activity. Additionally, the researcher found that only 5.5 million profiles out of 37 million were marked “female.”

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1:35 p.m.: This article has been updated with details. It was originally published at 8:06 a.m.

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