Sean Rad, the co-founder and CEO of the dating app Tinder, is being demoted to president in order to “focus on the product.” The move was first reported by Forbes, which chronicles the rise of the app and its struggles — most notably a sexual harassment controversy.
Earlier this year, the company’s former VP of marketing Whitney Wolfe sued the company for “sexual harassment and sex discrimination.” Tinder’s chief marketing officer, Justin Mateen, was suspended (and subsequently resigned).
Forbes cites an unnamed insider, who said: “If the Whitney thing didn’t happen it would be difficult for IAC to demote Sean, because they’d have a lot to answer for… But the lawsuit gave them an out.” According to the report, IAC did not want his “potential amateur mistakes” to threaten the fast-growing startup. IAC also owns Okcupid, Match.com and HowAboutWe.
While it looks like Rad will stay with the company and help look for another CEO, will he remain there for long? From Forbes:
The recurring question is whether Rad will remain at Tinder long enough to even see 2016. The man who in Philly was debating whether he should quit seems determined now to play through, saying he’ll do whatever he deems is best for Tinder. With a 10% stake in a product that’s already worth ten digits, he certainly has incentive to stick with it. “I might be naïve in saying this, but the soul of a consumer company is the product,” says Rad. “You take away the product leadership, and the company dies.”