Match Group Inc, the parent company that owns Tinder, OkCupid and Match.com, went public on Thursday with shares of the company getting a 23 per cent boost on opening day. But the highlight for Match was not the IPO, but an interview that Tinder CEO Sean Rad gave to British newspaper Evening Standard.
Typically before an IPO, a company and its executives are supposed to be in a quiet period, and Sean Rad’s interview proves to be an example of why this rule should not be broken. The interview has Rad describing himself as a “Tinder addict”, who falls in love with a new girl every week and has slept with a ‘low’ number of women, only 20 in his case.
The interview caused enough of a stir for Match Group to officially distance itself from the same.
Match Group filed a new statement with SEC saying, “On November 18, 2015, the Evening Standard (the “Standard”), an online and print news service, published an article based on an interview with Sean Rad, the Chief Executive Officer of Tinder, a subsidiary of the Company…The article was not approved or condoned by, and the content of the article was not reviewed by, the Company or any of its affiliates. Mr. Rad is not a director or executive officer of the Company and was not authorized to make statements on behalf of the Company for purposes of the article.”
The group also said that the article which claimed that Tinder has 80 million users and sees over 1.8 billion ‘swipes’ per day were not true, and instead put the number of Tinder users at a more modest 9.6 million.
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While Match might have distanced itself from the interview, given the ‘insightful’ comments by Rad, its unlikely to be forgotten anytime soon.
For starters, the Tinder CEO thought it was okay to talk about how a “supermodel, someone really, really famous” has “been begging him for sex”, an offer that he has graciously refused. Then in an effort to show himself as a guy who is not shallow, Rad says in the interview that he needs ‘intellectual challenge’ in a partner.
And if he’s to be believed, the correct word for describing desire where one is turned on by the intellectual rather than outer appearances, is ‘sodomy.’ For the Tinder CEO, this statement doesn’t kindle much hope in his own intellectual prowess.
It’s also evident that he’s still angry about an earlier Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales titled ‘Tinder and that dating Apocalypse,’ that was critical of the app. So angry that he’s even done background research on Jo Sales, if one were to go by his comments to Evening standard. He tells the paper, “there’s some stuff about her (Jo Sales) as an individual that will make you think differently.” The Vanity Fair article led to a huge social media fight between the author and the app.
Finally in an last-ditch attempt to defend Tinder and deflect the charges of whether the app has created a hook-up culture, Rad decides to blame feminism. So why is feminism the bad guy here? According to the Tinder CEO, feminism has ensured more independence for women, who are surer of their desires and thus everybody is all too happy to climb into bed.
Given how quickly this PR-disaster of an interview has gone viral, for Match Group, the firefighting is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
To read the full interview, go here.