Tinder breaks up with CEO, co-founder returns as replacement

Aug 12, 2015

Looks like it wasn't a match made in Tinder heaven after all.

Dating app Tinder's CEO Chris Payne is stepping down, with co-founder and president Sean Rad taking over again, according to a report from Re/code. Greg Blatt, an executive at Tinder's parent company IAC (iaci), is becoming executive chairman.

Payne took over as CEO in March, after a four-month search for a replacement for Rad, who announced he was stepping back in November to become president. Last year was tumultuous for the popular dating app, including a very public fight with co-founder Whitney Wolfe, who sued the company for sexual harassment and stripping her of her title. The lawsuit was settled in the fall. Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder Justin Mateen, who was accused of the sexual harassment, left the company.

Payne came from eBay, joining in 2009 after it acquired his company, Positronic. Before that, he spent 13 years at Microsoft, as well as three at Amazon. He was brought on to help Tinder make money as it entered a more established phase. The company rolled out its first paid product, "Tinder Plus," which lets users pay a monthly fee to undo decisions to pass on a potential romantic match and to see potential matches in other places in the world (Tinder uses location to serve up matches nearby).

Benchmark partner and Tinder board member Matt Cohler told Re/Code that it quickly became clear that Payne was not as good a fit as anticipated and that the company decided to make a change. It's unclear whether Rad will permanently stay on as CEO of if this is temporary.

For more about Tinder, watch this Fortune video:

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