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Tinder CEO Demoted in Company Shake-up; Presses Forward with New Features

Tinder
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Just as Tinder’s founder Sean Rad was at the top of his game, enjoying the enormous success of his dating app Tinder after two short years on the market - and about to announce the new features offered in the latest version of the app - the board has decided to take away his CEO title.

As reported originally in a cover story for Forbes Magazine, Rad has been demoted to President, his management power greatly reduced for a yet-to-be-determined CEO who will take the reins of Tinder from him. According to Forbes, IAC decided that the company needed a more seasoned CEO (“an Eric Schmidt-like person”) leading it and taking it to the next level of a viable, revenue-generating business, as opposed to the young and green entrepreneur who brought Tinder to its current success. And also, preferably not a CEO tainted with scandal.

When Rad first launched Tinder, he did so with a lot of help from his friend and social trendsetter Justin Mateen. By approaching social influencers at universities (such as fraternity leaders), Mateen managed to get a lot of people using the app quickly, so the user base only grew stronger with time and more than a little PR.

Mateen and Rad built up the company together, but the scandal started when Mateen started dating one of their employees. When that relationship went south, the employee decided to pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit based on angry and inappropriate texts she had received from Mateen, and sued the company. She reportedly walked away with a little over a million dollars, but Mateen and Rad seem to be paying a higher price. Rad was implicated because he was the one who stripped her of her VP title and later “wrongfully terminated” her, according to the lawsuit.

But will all this drama derail Tinder itself? Not likely. The company continues to grow, and the revenue plan for its new premium service – Tinder Plus – rolls out this month with two new features for paying customers. The basic Tinder app will remain free.

The new version includes a travel feature called Passport, which lets users journey around the globe, swiping through matches in various cities instead of having to choose one based on their GPS location. The second feature is something users have been requesting from the beginning – an “undo” button that lets them revisit profiles they’d already rejected. Everyone deserves a second chance, right?

The company plans to launch another feature in the near future called “Places,” which will allow users who frequent the same places to meet over the app.

Will Tinder maintain the enthusiasm of its investors and the public at large after Rad steps down? Will customers be willing to pay for the benefits of Tinder Plus? We’ll have to wait and see.