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The Untimely Blunder of Tinder’s CEO

November 20, 2015
2 min read
Tinder CEO Sean Rad
Tinder CEO Sean Rad

Just one day after Tinder’s parent company floated on the New York Stock Exchange, Tinder’s CEO, the 29-year-old Iranian Sean Rad, gave an interview that did little other than make investors doubt their faith in the company.

Tinder, which is a relatively new dating app and involves "swiping" right or left depending on whether you like a person, now has about 80 million users worldwide. It was predicted to float at over $3 billion. CEO Rad owns more than 10 per cent of the company.

The Evening Standard interview, in which Rad openly – and in detail – discussed his sexual endeavors, was discussed in the media the world over, calling the interview “disastrous”, a “fail” and “cringeworthy” – to name but a few.

His ultimate “fail” happened when he had a rather unfortunate mix-up of words. When trying to refer to himself as a sapiosexual, which is when a person is attracted by intelligence, Rad accidentally used the word “sodomy” instead.

The interview came just a day after Match Group, the parent company of a number of dating platforms, including Tinder, floated on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ.

Shortly after Rad’s misguided comments, the Match Group filed a document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, correcting some of his remarks and clarifying that he was not authorized to make statements on behalf of the company.

“The article was not approved or condoned by and the content of the article was not reviewed by the company or any of its affiliates,” the document said.

This was not the first time that the young Tinder CEO caught the media’s attention. In November last year, Rad was briefly demoted as CEO following a sexual-harassment lawsuit brought about by former female employee, Whitney Wolfe. Wolfe eventually settled for a reported $2 million.

Tinder, which was only launched in 2012, very quickly became a success and highly popular, particularly among young people. The app's advocates cite Tinder's limited "embarassment factor" (the other person only knows if you swiped yes if they also did), the mutual friends function (so nearly every date comes with a reference) and the simplicity of the technology as just some of the reasons why they like to use it.

Just this month, Tinder began, for the first time, charging users for a premium service.

“We are adding features users have been begging us for,” Rad recently said in a Forbes interview. “They will offer so much value we think users are willing to pay for them.”




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