Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman steps down

International infidelity website was hacked earlier this year

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The CEO of hacked infidelity website Ashley Madison will step down, the company announced on Friday.

Noel Biderman, 44, created Ashley Madison in 2001. Under his stewardship the company has grown to one of the best known extramarital services in the world. The Canadian will step down at the end of Friday. 

"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," a statement released on the company's website read.

Ashley Madison was hacked by a group calling itself The Impact Team earlier this year. The anonymous group of hackers promised to reveal an estimated 36 million users' details, effectively crippling a service marketed on its discretion. 

The leaked emails also revealed that Ashley Madison had very few active female users – of the 37 million profiles only around 12,000 were women who were active on the site it emerged this week. The website, whose slogan is “life is short, have an affair”, had claimed there were 5.5 million female users.

The statement continued: "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."

As the hack developed, further damaging claims against the company have emerged. Among the claims are allegations that many of the women on the website were fake accounts created by company workers in order to attract male subscribers to the service.

A spokesperson for the company said on Friday they had been able to "close the unauthorised access points" and secure the website. They added that they are working with authorities investigating the hack.