|Education||University of Southern California (dropped out)|
|Known for||Co-founder of Tinder|
Sean Rad is an Iranian-American technology entrepreneur and the co-founder of several technology companies, including the online dating app, Tinder. He served as Tinder's CEO and Chairman at various times from the company's inception until 2016.
Rad was born on May 22, 1986 in Los Angeles, California to Iranian Jews who had emigrated from Iran in the 1970s. He grew up in Beverly Hills. As a teenager, he wanted a career in the music industry. He started a band and interned for an entertainment manager during high school. After high school, Rad enrolled at the University of Southern California (USC) but dropped out after two years in 2006.
At 18, he started his first company, Orgoo, a unified communications platform that organizes email, instant messaging, video chat and SMS in one place, and later founded Adly in 2009, a social media advertising network that connects brands and celebrities for promotional posts. Rad later sold his share of Adly in 2012.
In early 2012, Rad joined Hatch Labs as a General Manager. During a hackathon in his first week at Hatch Labs, he presented the idea for Matchbox, a proposal for an app which would later be renamed as Tinder. He also created a prototype with the help of engineer Joe Munoz. Rad recruited the help of Justin Mateen and other members of the Hatch Labs including Jonathan Badeen, Chris Gulczynski, Alexa Mateen, Ryan Ogle, and Whitney Wolfe. Together they launched Tinder in the fall of 2012.
Rad served as Tinder's CEO from inception until March 2015, when he was replaced by Christopher Payne as CEO. He had been asked in November 2014 by IAC to step down as chief executive of Tinder and he continued to serve as President and board member until he returned as the CEO again in August 2015. In December 2016, Rad was removed as CEO of Tinder to become chairman of the company and run Swipe Ventures, an division of the Match Group that focused on acquisition and investments of dating and social companies.
In 2018, Rad and other former executives and employees of Tinder sued Match Group and IAC for $2 billion arguing the company manipulated the valuation of Tinder and denied them billions of dollars. IAC and Match Group filed a motion to dismiss the case, but the appeals court upheld the trial court’s decision to deny this request and a trial date was scheduled.
In 2019, in a counter $250 million lawsuit by Match Group and IAC, Match said that Rad recorded "sensitive business conversations" between his superiors and colleagues without consent and copying proprietary company files to his personal devices while working at Tinder. Rad argued that his contract gave him the right to make those actions and he asked the New York Supreme Court to dismiss the lawsuit against him.
In June 2014, Whitney Wolfe Herd filed a lawsuit against Tinder and IAC accusing Justin Mateen of "a barrage of horrendously sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails and text messages" and Rad as CEO of failing to respond to her complaints. The lawsuit was settled out of court without admission of guilt from either party involved.
In 2015, Rad "appeared to make a veiled threat" to Vanity Fair reporter Nancy Jo Sales after an article she published on “hook up culture”. Sales published an Open Letter in response to Rad. That same year, Match Group filed an 8K registration statement that Rad did not speak on behalf of the company after he disclosed inaccurate figures during an interview prior to an IPO.
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- Bertoni, Steven. "Exclusive: Sean Rad Out As Tinder CEO. Inside The Crazy Saga". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
- "The Story Of Whitney Wolfe Vs. Tinder". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
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- Bertoni, Steven. "Exclusive: Sean Rad Out As Tinder CEO. Inside The Crazy Saga". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
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- Townsend, Tess (2015-11-18). "Tinder's Sean Rad Is Weirder Than You Thought". Inc.com. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
- Weisul, Kimberly (2014-11-06). "What Tinder's CEO Demotion Means for Silicon Valley Sexism". Inc.com. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
- Wagner, Kurt (2016-12-08). "Tinder's Sean Rad is stepping down as CEO to become chairman". Vox. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
- "Sean Rad Steps Down as Tinder CEO to Focus on Investment Vehicle". Fortune. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
- Stampler, Laura. "Inside Tinder: Meet the Guys Who Turned Dating Into an Addiction". Time. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
- Business, Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN. "Former Tinder executives are locked in a messy legal battle". CNN. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
- Stempel, Jonathan (2019-10-29). "IAC must face Tinder co-founder's $2 billion lawsuit: NY appeals court". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
- Dean, Sam (2019-11-23). "Former Tinder CEO Sean Rad accused of secretly recording employees and bosses in new court filing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
- Carman, Ashley (2019-03-25). "Tinder co-founder asks court to dismiss $250 million lawsuit from Tinder's owner". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
- Kleinman, Alexis (2014-09-08). "Tinder Settles Lawsuit Over 'Horrendously Sexist' Allegations". HuffPost. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
- "Swipe Left: Dating App Tinder Removes CEO Sean Rad". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
- "The Story Of Whitney Wolfe Vs. Tinder". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
- Weiss, Geoff (2015-11-18). "Tinder CEO Sean Rad Makes Veiled Threat to Vanity Fair Reporter Ahead of IPO". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
- Sales, Nancy Jo (2015-11-20). "AN OPEN LETTER TO TINDER'S SEAN RAD FROM V.F.'S NANCY JO SALES". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
- Tinder CEO Sean Rad’s insane interview busted Match Group’s IPO quiet period