There's more trouble in paradise — or whatever we're calling the strange land of Tinder. The Tinder CEO, Sean Rad, has stepped down amidst sexual harassment allegations. Who would have ever seen that coming from a company responsible for nothing but respectful, friendly conversations? Shocking!
The move comes four months after Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe sued the company for the “horrendously sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages” that allegedly came her way while working for the company she helped create. Her allegations prompted one Tinder co-founder, Justin Mateen, to resign over the summer and have now caused Rad to step down as CEO, though he will stay with the company in the lesser position of president. He also remains on the board.
It's a move that plenty of people seem to feel is well deserved. Not only does Wolfe's account of the early days of the company cast both her co-founders in a rather bad light, but it appears Rad wasn't overly popular among other employees either. Chris Gulczynski, the man widely credited with Tinder's design, told the New York Post that Rad frequently placed his own and Mateen's interests ahead of the company and fostered a generally "frat-like" workplace.
All in all, it doesn't sound overly pleasant. Which, again, is absolutely shocking, given how absolutely delightfully the men who use Tinder behave.
In reality, of course, you can't say that the harassment and disrespect that runs rampant on Tinder is actually the cause of a frat-like company culture, but I will say that it doesn't surprise me that the same people who created a platform that facilitates that type of behavior are now running into trouble over sexual harassment allegations and an overly bro-ish workplace. After all, there's always been something a little sexist about Tinder, no matter how much we enjoy it.
There's no telling what changes, if any, Rad's demotion will entail for actual Tinder users. Will the long anticipated ads be showing their faces sooner than expected? Or will the company find some other way of making money? The future is so full of questions!
Overall, though, it's heartening to actually see sexual harassment and the detrimental effects of frat-like offices taken seriously. Rad stepping down is a good sign that someone, somewhere sees the problems inherent in a workplace that's hostile to female employees, and that is unquestionably a good thing.