Tinder CEO Sean Rad has been forced out, according to an exclusive report by Forbes that was published this morning. The dating app's biggest stakeholder, InterActiveCorp (also known as IAC), is looking for an "Eric Schmidt-like person" to replace the 28-year-old, who's had a year marked by business triumphs and personal tribulations.
Just a couple weeks ago, Rad was at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. He was preparing to reveal Tinder's revenue generator, a premium service that, among many other perks, allows users to swipe through matches in other cities. Just before he was about to hit the stage of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, he got the call from IAC's Sam Yagan and found out he would no longer be the top executive of the ever-growing app.
Tinder's popularity can be described as explosive. The dating app has seen a whopping 600 percent growth over just the past year. Forbes also reports that it's been downloaded 40 million times since its launch in 2012. And its 30 million users swipe through 1.2 billion prospective partners a day.
Rad's personal life this year, however, has been less of a success. Just a few months ago, 24-year-old former Tinder executive Whitney Wolfe sued co-founder (and her ex-boyfriend) Justin Mateen for sexual harassment. This suit led to Mateen's ultimate suspension and resignation from the company. While Rad stayed on, he was blamed for many of the wrongdoings. The allegations suggested that both Mateen and Rad subjected Wolfe to "horrendously sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages" (including calling her names like "whore" and "gold digger"). At best, Rad looked the other way.
In September, the lawsuit was dropped, but Rad didn't come out unscathed. "IAC was not about to watch its new potential cash machine get derailed by more amateur mistakes," Forbes noted. For now, Rad will stay on as CEO until IAC can find a replacement. Apparently Mateen and Rad are still best friends. Tinder Plus will roll out imminently.
Follow Kristen on Twitter