Tinder Ousts New CEO and Founder Sean Rad Steps Back In

  • Wednesday, September 23 2015 @ 06:44 am
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It looks like Tinder has swiped left on its latest CEO Chris Payne, and is asking co-founder Sean Rad to take control once again of running the company behind the infamously popular dating app. Rad will re-assume his position as CEO and Greg Blatt, Chairman of Match Group, will assume the newly created position of Executive Chairman of Tinder. Match Group is the parent company of online dating brands that include some of the most successful dating sites, including Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid.

Payne, a former eBay and Microsoft executive, is leaving the company after only five months as CEO. While Match Group originally hired him because of his experience, hoping to bring more corporate strategic thinking to the company, Rad remained the face of Tinder in the news thanks to his part in the app’s early success and his outspoken manner. (At the time, it didn’t help that he was embroiled in a sexual harassment lawsuit by former employee Whitney Wolfe, founder of new female-friendly dating app Bumble.)

For now, Payne seems to be content with the decision for him to step down. "I enjoyed my time at Tinder but we mutually determined that this wasn't going to be optimal and thought that a quick transition served everybody best," said Mr. Payne in a statement. "I think Tinder's going to be an incredible company." 

Website Mashable (who reported Tinder’s executive shake-up) has linked the decision to re-establish Rad in the CEO position as part of Match Group’s financial strategy. The company plans an initial public offering later this year. According to Blatt, the dating industry has come a long way since the company’s inception, but the category remains “underpenetrated.”

Tinder introduced a new premium paid service earlier this year, offering extra perks like the ability to go back and change a previously rejected profile or giving users more profiles to swipe per day. One analyst predicted Tinder’s valuation would top $1 billion in 2015.

For now, the company and Rad are focused on the future. "I'm committed to continuing to drive Tinder's growth and to make Tinder one of the great businesses of our time," said Mr. Rad. "I look forward to working closely with Greg to make that happen."

"It's only been a few months, but there was mutual agreement here that it was not the right long-term fit, and given Tinder's rapid growth trajectory both Christopher and the Board thought prompt action was best for everyone," said Matt Cohler, of Benchmark, a Tinder director. "We appreciate Christopher's work here and wish him well in future endeavors."