Tinder CEO to Step Down in Wake of Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Sean Rad will remain with the company as president and board member
Tinder co-founder Sean Rad will step down as CEO of the mobile dating app, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The company is looking for a new CEO, and Rad will remain in the role until a replacement has been named. He will remain on Tinder's board and act as president, continuing to oversee product development.
"We're looking for an Eric Schmidt-like person," Rad said in an interview with Forbes, which first reported the news of his ouster. "There is no CEO coming in the door that I don't get along with — that would be corporate suicide."
The news comes five months after Tinder was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit by former executive Whitney Wolfe in which she alleged that Rad and co-founder Justin Mateen, which whom she had a relationship, denied her of a co-founder title because she is a woman. The lawsuit was settled in September without admission of wrongdoing, and Mateen has resigned from the company. Forbes reports that Wolfe walked away with $1 million from the settlement.
Rad called Wolfe a friend but acknowledged to the business magazine that "the lines got blurred, the boundaries should have been stronger."
It's that lawsuit that left an opening for his ouster, Forbes reports. Tinder is majority owned by Barry Diller's IAC and is controlled by IAC subsidiary The Match Group. Match CEO Sam Yagan called Rad in late October to inform him of the demotion.
"Sean has exhibited tremendous strength in building Tinder's brand, users and product," Yagan told Forbes. "We wouldn't want to do anything that lessens his leadership in those areas."
Tinder, which launched in 2012, popularized the right swipe on a smart phone to indicate interest in a potential match. Today the company has more than 30 million registered users and makes more than 14 million matches per day.