Site's founder leaves Ashley Madison after massive hack
The founder and chief executive of cheaters' dating website Ashley Madison has stepped down just weeks after it was hacked.
Noel Biderman, who heads the Canadian business's parent company, Avid Life Media, is no longer employed at its headquarters, a spokesman said.
"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," Avid Life Media said.
"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."
It comes after a hacker group named The Impact Team stole the personal details of 37 million Ashley Madison clients.
The data contained addresses, ages, phone numbers, credit card details and even sexual fantasies of users.
Ashley Madison has said it is working with police forces to find the hackers and has offered a $380,000 (€340,000) reward for any information leading to their arrest.
"We are actively co-operating with international law enforcement in an effort to bring those responsible for the theft of proprietary member and business information to justice," Avid Life Media said.
A series of negative stories has emerged since the hack on Ashley Madison, which was set up in 2001 with the slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair."
It was claimed yesterday that only around 12,000 of the 5.5 million women signed up to the website are real, while the vast majority are fake profiles created to lure in male subscribers.
An investigation by technology website Gizmodo allegedly found that many of the IP addresses connected to female users could be traced back to Ashley Madison itself.
The report also revealed that 20 million men had checked their messages on the site, compared with just 1,492 women.
Meanwhile, 11 million men logged on to use the website's chat function, but only 2,409 women did so.
It also emerged that Ashley Madison planned to launch an app that allowed users to rate each others' wives, with the working title of 'What's Your Wife Worth?'. (© Daily Telegraph, London)