IAC Creates Match Group

Is Match getting ready to spin out of IAC? Today’s announcement seems to point in that direction.

  • InterActiveCorp (IACI) CEO Greg Blatt is stepping down from his current position to become chairman of the Match Group, a new IAC operating unit containing the company’s Match (online dating) businesses, as well as Tutor.com and workout program site DailyBurn. (PR)
  • No replacement CEO will be named. Instead, Blatt and the heads of IAC’s Search & Applications (Ask.com, About.com) and Vimeo (online video) businesses will each directly report to chairman Barry Diller. Sam Yagan, CEO of the Match businesses, has been named CEO of the Match Group.
  • Investors like the shakeup, and may be betting it will pave the way for a spinoff. The Match businesses, which depend more on subscriptions than advertising, had Q3 revenue of $201.1M and op. income of $68.4M, and Search & Applications had Q3 revenue of $407.3M and op. income of $96M.

Prior to 2010 Blatt served as the Chief Executive Officer of IAC’s Match segment, where he was responsible for overseeing Match.com, Chemistry.com, People Media, Singlesnet as well as Match’s international investments.

“Greg Blatt has performed superbly as CEO of IAC for the last three years,” said Mr. Diller.  “During that period, we’ve essentially doubled our stock price and increased our operating profit by over 180%.

Break out of IAC, buy Spark Networks/POF/Jiayuan/few more large free and mobile sites and Match is going to be unstoppable. People complain about “old growth” dating sites all the time, but  there is a dearth of new sites truly improving on the model. Interesting stuff in mobile for sure, but game-changing the paradigm? That happens with better matching algorithms.