Tinder CEO Sean Rad has been forced out of the role, but will be staying with the company in the capacity of President and board member. Rad founded the company behind the hottest dating app out there, but events unrelated to the app’s performance have led to his demotion.
The news didn’t come in a formal announcement from Tinder or a press release from IAC, which holds a majority stake in the company. It came in a Forbes report with quotes from Rad himself, from his boss at IAC, Sam Yagan, and from other unnamed insiders. So this isn’t a rumor. It’s happening.
You can read the full four-page article here, which gives a lot of background and compares the story to Shakespeare (yeah, the report is really that dramatic).
Long story short, IAC wants a more experienced executive to run the show, and used a recent highly-publicized sexual harassment lawsuit as a reason to take the CEO title away from Rad. Former executive Whitney Wolfe had sued Tinder and IAC for harassment by former CMO and best friend of Rad, Justin Mateen. She also claimed Mateen and Rad had stripped her title as co-founder of the company because she was a woman. The parties reached a settlement in September, but as we now know, that was hardly the end of it.
From the Forbes report:
Rad had the title of founder, but he didn’t have control over his own fate at the company. Which led a few weeks later to the call in Philly. “If the Whitney thing didn’t happen it would be difficult for IAC to demote Sean, because they’d have a lot to answer for,” says one insider. “But the lawsuit gave them an out.”
Rad will remain in the CEO role until his replacement is found. While he will reportedly hold the President title and a spot on the board, it will be interesting to see what happens when that replacement is instated.
“We’re looking for an Eric Schmidt-like person,” Rad is quoted as saying. “There is no CEO coming in the door that I don’t get along with—that would be corporate suicide.”
The timing of this whole situation is pretty interesting because Tinder is pretty much killing it, and Rad just announced the company’s first revenue strategy a couple weeks ago (at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit no less). It is offering a premium service, which will “let users break away from location limits and expand their Tinder reach.”
— Tinder (@Tinder) October 22, 2014
Meanwhile the company claims to have seen 600% growth over the past year with 40 million downloads since launching in 2012. 30 million people are registered, and 14,000 people are being checked out on the app every second.
For Tinder itself, the outlook is pretty good. We’ll see if Rad really does stay around for the ride.
Image via Facebook