Tinder Splits With CEO After Six Months, Sean Rad Returns To Role

Sean Rad

Tinder has broken up with its new CEO, former eBay exec Chris Payne, after just six months.

Co-founder Sean Rad will return to the position of CEO, but the company did not say whether this was a long term decision.

In addition to this top-level change, The Match Group Chairman Greg Blatt will also assume the new position of Executive Chairman of Tinder.

In a statement about Payne’s exit, Benchmark partner and Tinder director Matt Cohler said:

“It’s only been a few months, but there was mutual agreement here that it was not the right long-term fit, and given Tinder’s rapid growth trajectory both Christopher and the Board thought prompt action was best for everyone. We appreciate Christopher’s work here and wish him well in future endeavors.”

Before joining the Hollywood dating company in March, Payne was at a startup he co-founded, Positronic, before it was bought by online marketplace eBay.

Payne had led the North American business for eBay Marketplaces, and was one of eBay’s top executives for over five years.

Prior to this, Payne was also a VP at Amazon for three years, and corporate Vice President at Microsoft from 2001 to 2007.

Speaking about the decision, Payne said: “I enjoyed my time at Tinder but we mutually determined that this wasn’t going to be optimal and thought that a quick transition served everybody best. I think Tinder’s going to be an incredible company.”

And co-founder Sean Rad will take his place, returning as CEO of the company he co-founded back in 2012.

Back in November it was announced Rad would no longer be Tinder CEO, with IAC feeling more experienced leadership was needed following the app’s high-profile sex harassment scandal.

Speaking about his return to the role, Rad said: “I’m committed to continuing to drive Tinder’s growth and to make Tinder one of the great businesses of our time. I look forward to working closely with Greg to make that happen.”

The surprising decision seems centred around the fact that Payne just wasn’t a long term fit for the company, something which became clear early on, so it made sense to make a change sooner rather than later.

It’s not like Tinder hasn’t been busy in the six months since he took over – nor has there been any public rumblings of discontent – with the company launching its premium service, in-app advertising, along with creating a number of brand partnerships and making its first move outside the dating industry.

Yesterday, Tinder was in the spotlight because of a Twitter rant the company embarked on, over a Vanity Fair article about hookup culture and dating apps, which the company subsequently said it had “overreacted” about.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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