Jul 11 2023
Match Group Appoints Sam Ahn As Chief Innovation Officer of Match Group Asia

Linda Kim, Hyperconnect COO, Will Take Over The Role of Hyperconnect CEO

Match Group today announced that Hyperconnect Chief Executive Officer Sam Ahn has been appointed Chief Innovation Officer of Match Group Asia, a newly-created leadership role that will focus on driving innovation opportunities and leveraging emerging technologies. Hyperconnect Chief Operating Officer Linda Kim will become Chief Executive Officer of Hyperconnect on October 1. As CEO, Kim will focus on continuing to drive growth and further integration of Hyperconnect and its technologies across the portfolio.

Ahn, co-founder of Hyperconnect, is a proven innovator and an early believer in the promise of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and innovative video, which have powered Hyperconnect's leading social discovery apps, Azar and Hakuna. In his role as Match Group Asia CIO, Ahn will oversee a new centralized Asia team that will include a talented group of existing employees, as well as hiring and expanding for new product and innovation roles to take advantage of opportunities in AI and other emerging technologies.

Kim joined Hyperconnect as COO in 2022, and has proven herself to be a strong strategic and operational leader. Her focus on growth and new initiatives for Hyperconnect has helped drive momentum at the business. Under Ahn and Kim's leadership, Azar has returned to growth through significant enhancements to Azar's matching algorithm and the introduction of a new monetization feature, "Supermatch."

"Hyperconnect has long been a leader in innovation with its world-class video technology," said Malgosia Green, CEO of Match Group Asia. "As Hyperconnect's leader and co-founder, Sam has an extensive track record of breaking boundaries and exploring new opportunities, and in his new role will continue to grow our AI capabilities to benefit both Match Group Asia and the broader company. We are also fortunate to have a gifted senior executive in Linda Kim at Hyperconnect, who is positioned to seamlessly step into the CEO role and execute on our roadmap and priorities."

Green in January 2023 was named CEO of Match Group Asia, where she is responsible for accelerating growth and expansion across the region. Leveraging leading talent across Asia – particularly around AI – and deploying those learnings and resources across the portfolio remains a major priority for Match Group.

"It has been my honor to lead one of the most talented technology teams in the world at Hyperconnect," said Sam Ahn. "In this new role, I look forward to exploring new opportunities and growth engines for Hyperconnect and Match Group by combining Match Group's extensive knowledge and global expertise with Hyperconnect's top-flight talent and innovative technologies."

"I've been blown away by the level of creativity, ingenuity, and drive I've seen within Hyperconnect since I joined the organization last year," said Linda Kim. "I look forward to maintaining the great momentum we have built by giving our talent the resources and structures they need to succeed and break new ground."

About Sam Ahn
Sam Ahn will become the Chief Innovation Officer of Match Group Asia. Currently, he serves as CEO and Co-Founder of Hyperconnect, a technology company that operates two key social discovery apps with leading and innovative video, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality capabilities: Azar and Hakuna. The company pioneered one of the world's first mobile versions of WebRTC (a real-time video communication technology), which powers their products.

A serial entrepreneur, Sam has launched six other startups, and has spent his career focused on connecting people through technology. Prior to Hyperconnect, he was an engineer at Neowiz, and co-founded Rebi Search, a web search engine company.

He holds a Bachelor of Material Science & Engineering from Seoul National University.

About Linda Kim
Linda Kim will serve as Chief Executive Officer at Hyperconnect, a leading social discovery and video technology company fully owned by Match Group. Linda currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer, partnering closely with Match Group leadership to oversee all Hyperconnect business operations, with a focus on growth and new initiatives driving further integration of the company's forward-looking technology throughout the Match Group organization.

Prior to joining Hyperconnect, Linda served as Chief Operating Officer and a founding member at Haus Labs by Lady Gaga, where she helped raise Series A funding, ran direct-to-consumer and Amazon sales channels, designed and implemented new product development processes and operating procedures, managed worldwide logistics, and more in her tenure with the company. She has also spent significant time in leading roles at The Honest Company, Zynga, Apple, and Nokia.

Linda holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

About Hyperconnect
Based in South Korea, Hyperconnect employs more than 300 people, of which approximately half are top-tier engineers, and operates two social discovery apps: Azar® and Hakuna®. Azar® offers 1:1 live video and voice chat with a strong presence across Asia and growing in Europe. Hakuna®, which launched in 2019, provides one to many or group live video and audio with a highly engaged user base in South Korea, Japan and other markets across Asia.

About Match Group
Match Group, through its portfolio companies, is a leading provider of digital technologies designed to help people make meaningful connections. Our global portfolio of brands includes Tinder®, Match®, Hinge®, Meetic®, OkCupid®, Pairs™, PlentyOfFish®, OurTime®, Azar®, Hakuna®, and more, each built to increase our users' likelihood of connecting with others. Through our trusted brands, we provide tailored services to meet the varying preferences of our users. Our services are available in over 40 languages to our users all over the world.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements that are not historical facts are "forward looking statements." The use of words such as "anticipates," "estimates," "expects," "plans" and "believes," among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements relating to Match Group's future financial performance. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions about future events, which are inherently subject to uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual results could differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including, among others: uncertainties related to the acquisition of Hyperconnect, including, among other things, the expected benefits of the transaction, any litigation arising out of or relating to the transaction, and the impact of the transaction on the businesses of Match Group. Certain of these and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in Match Group's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Other unknown or unpredictable factors that could also adversely affect Match Group's business, financial condition and results of operations may arise from time to time. In light of these risks and uncertainties, these forward-looking statements may not prove to be accurate. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which only reflect the views of Match Group management as of the date of this press release. Match Group does not undertake to update these forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Match Group