Cupid’s chief to step down after a loveless year

Oliver Smith
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ONLINE dating company Cupid will have a new chief executive from next week, replacing Bill Dobbie as it struggles to turn around its business after a share price collapse of 72 per cent so far this year.

Phil Gripton, currently Cupid’s managing director of dating services, will take over from Dobbie as chief executive on 1 December. Dobbie will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

Gripton said he would take over the role at a pivotal time for the Aim-listed company, “I’m confident our teams can deliver the best user experience for our global customers and ultimately create value for our shareholders.”

Edinburgh-based Cupid was hit earlier this year by claims the company created false user profiles to entice new users, allegations that were later disproved by a review conducted by KPMG.

“I am very much looking forward to continuing my work with the board to drive the business forward, implement new initiatives and deliver on the strategy that is in place,” added Gripton.

Last month Cupid said distractions had caused the online dating service to post a 56 per cent slump in underlying earnings to £2.6m for the first six months of the year. On a statutory basis, the firm slipped to a pre-tax loss of £2.8m, compared to a £3.6m profit last year.

Cupid’s share price is currently down 72 per cent from its price in 2012, it fell 3.5 per cent yesterday to close at 55.5p a share.