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Yelp Elects Its First Chairwoman

Yelp Elects Its First Chairwoman
[Photo: Flickr user Nan Palmero]

Yelp now ranks among just a handful of tech companies to have appointed a woman to the role of chairperson. On Sunday, USA Today reported that the reviews site had named its first chairwoman: Diane Irvine, who has been on Yelp’s board since 2011, is filling the spot left by the departure of PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, who resigned in July following an underwhelming second-quarter earnings report.

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The move is in line with Yelp’s ongoing efforts to increase diversity, which have included hiring a head of diversity and heavily recruiting female engineers. “We want to show that progress in the months and years ahead throughout the company and that would include the board,” Irvine told USA Today. It’s a particularly significant decision given that Yelp’s board has just two women.

Though Levchin allegedly stepped down as chairman to focus on his lending startup Affirm, Yelp’s July earnings call revealed that the company has had trouble attracting advertisers and has also put its sale aspirations on hold. (The Wall Street Journal had reported in May that Yelp was considering an acquisition.) The company’s stock dropped by about 28% following the earnings call–and it hasn’t bounced back since.

Despite Yelp’s recent missteps, Irvine told USA Today that she thinks the company has “great market share and still has tremendous opportunity in the future.” CEO Jeremy Stoppelman was also optimistic about her appointment when he spoke to the newspaper: “She’s been an unflappable and fully engaged member of our board… and I’m delighted to see her in this new and important role.”

[via VentureBeat]

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