Tinder’s parent company just swiped left on Sean Rad, who will step down as the company’s CEO, according to a report from Forbes. He is to remain with the company and serve as president of the company and will join as a member of the board. But he’s not out yet. Tinder and parent company IAC will soon start looking for a replacement CEO for the growing startup.
Rad said in the article that the company is looking for “an Eric Schmidt-like person” to take the top spot.
Tinder’s growth has been explosive. Its estimated worth is well over a billion dollars, and IAC likely does not want to gabble its potential unicorn on the unproven Sean Rad — even though he led the company’s growth to this spot. Forbes pins Rad’s demotion on the uncertainty generated within IAC following the company’s high-profile sexual harassment suit against Whitney Wolfe.
If you’re in the dark on that, the story goes like this: Sean Rad and his best friend Justin Mateen were at the helm of the Tinder ship, with Whitney Wolfe working as VP of Marketing after joining as part of the founding team. After a couple years of Justin and Whitney dating on and off, the relationship came to a rough end, which led to a lot of inappropriate conversations between Mateen and Wolfe.
But the lawsuit isn’t just about sexual harassment from Mateen; it also argues that Rad stripped Wolfe of her title of co-founder because she was a female, and later wrongfully terminated her once the Justin drama hit the fan.
In the end, no party admitted guilt and the case was settled out of court. But Tinder is too big to rest on slippery shoulders, and though Rad handled the post-drama media craze like a champ, the evidence in the lawsuit brings into question whether his judgment was harmed by working so closely with his best friends.
Pushing out a young CEO from a growing company is hardly a new tactic. It remains unseen if Rad will stick around at his new post. Yet IAC cannot take away Sean Rad’s title of Tinder founder. He holds 10 percent of the company’s value, which is easily a 10-digit number.
IAC stock price opened down on the day and at time of publication is trading .85 percent down at $67.30.
We’ve reached out to Rad, Tinder and IAC and are waiting to hear back. We’ll update this post as soon as we know more.