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EHarmony founder has his heart set on reviving the dating site

After watching the matchmaker struggle amid increased competition, Neil Clark Warren came out of retirement to take over as CEO. He has passion for the job.

December 13, 2012|By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times

The privately held company declined to release financial details but said new memberships increased 20% in the last month from the month before. It also said a member's average total amount spent on the site is up 15% year over year (membership costs vary but are generally $60 monthly or about $250 annually, among the highest in the industry).

"We have a good trajectory coming up," said Armen Avedissian, EHarmony's new chief operating officer. "We've got over 1.2 million people who have been married using the EHarmony services. We're going to try to expand it into other industries and see how far that takes us."

For Warren, who worked as a clinical psychologist, relationship expert and author before founding EHarmony with his son-in-law, holding a big corporate job has been an unexpected turn of events.

He and his wife of 53 years, Marylyn, moved from a spacious home in Maine to a two-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica. He takes a cab to work and puts in 12-hour days. He jokes that he must be one of the oldest CEOs in the country but says he plans to keep this up for five years before retiring for good.

It's a grueling schedule, but one Warren said he felt compelled to take on as the company moves beyond online dating.

"I wasn't sure there was a right person besides me," he said. "Nobody has as much absolute passion for this issue, I think, as I do."

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