BUSINESS WEEK - Dec 3 - At age 78, Neil Clark Warren, who founded eHarmony 12 years ago, is taking back control. Since becoming CEO in July after a series of CEO changes, he’s fired 100 people, cut the board from nine to two and bought back stock from Sequoia Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures, which invested $110M in 2004. Gone from the company are the business degrees, and in are social scientists. Sales growth slowed from 16% in 2008 to 6.3% in 2010 and an estimated 3.8% this year to $275M, according to IBISWorld. Sales in the U.S. online dating market are expected to increase 5.1% annually, on average, over the next five years to $2.6 billion in 2017 from $2 billion this year, IBISWorld said. The business has gained entrants, with companies including POF and Zoosk tapping a younger demographic, and Badoo going after consumers more inclined to use smartphones than computers. Warren sees multiple opportunities for growth. He estimates that of the 120M single people in the country, only 5M are on a dating site, so just getting more to gravitate to the Web will expand the market.
by Ari Levy
The full article was originally published at Business Week, but is no longer available.