Tinder, the dating app that's become irresistibly addicting with the under-30 generation, is seeking a new chief executive to lead it through "this time of explosive growth and expansion," existing CEO Sean Rad announced Tuesday.
Rad said in a statement that adding "world-class talent to the management team" would allow him to focus on Tinder's product and brand. He'll remain the boss until someone is hired and will then transition to the role of president.
"Alongside the rest of the Tinder board, I look forward to working with the new CEO to realize Tinder's massive potential," he said.
Rad, his friends and partners created Tinder in 2012 as part of a start-up incubator program at Barry Diller-led media company IAC Corp. The arrangement has left IAC Corp. with a majority ownership in the West Hollywood start-up, and IAC executives reportedly pushed for the management shake-up, according to a profile of Rad that Forbes posted online Tuesday.
The company was rocked this summer by a sexual discrimination and harassment lawsuit filed against it by former female executive Whitney Wolfe. She had been in a relationship with chief marketing officer Justin Mateen, a close friend of Rad's who then resigned from Tinder. The lawsuit was settled, but the drama apparently left IAC concerned. Bringing on seasoned business executives is a common move for any fast-growing operation, and doing so for Tinder could also be a maneuver to restore its image. IAC didn't respond to requests for comment.
The corporate giant expects big things from Tinder. On a call with analysts last week, IAC executives noted that the 2-year-old start-up has enough users to account for half of all users across IAC-owned Match Group's 39 dating-related Web properties, including Match.com and OkCupid.
Capitalizing on its growth, Tinder is expected to soon begin charging users for extra tools in the app. TechCrunch reported Tuesday that the features wouldn't immediately be available in the United States, where about a third of Tinder users reside.
The features include the ability to see candidates in a places beyond the app's typical 100-mile search radius and an undo button to recall someone's profile that has been rejected. Tinder users quickly swipe or tap through profiles of potential partners, and it's easy to get in a rhythm and accidentally reject an attractive option. How much to charge for such features is under trial, according to the report.