The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Sean Rad Advertising Week Tinder

Tinder founder Sean Rad on why getting fired was ‘the best thing that ever happened to me’


By Natalie Mortimer, N/A

April 20, 2016 | 3 min read

When Tinder founder Sean Rad found himself ousted as CEO of the dating app in 2014 he was “surprised” given how well the company was performing. However, following his demotion Rad has revealed that on reflection it was “one of the best things that ever happened to me”.

Whilst Rad has since been re-instated as CEO (he reassumed the role last August after his successor, former eBay and Microsoft exec Chris Payne, left after four months), he told an audience an Advertising Week Europe that it gave him an opportunity to take a step back and see things differently.

“[Getting fired] was a surprise. The company was doing incredibly well, we were growing really fast and I think the board felt that they had some fears that at a young age [28] I wouldn't be able to manage growth. In fact I had fears; I didn’t know if I could manage that growth.

“In hindsight getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Looking back you see things that you didn’t before. I was able to take a step back and really embrace the things that I was good at and admit and recognise the things I wasn’t good at…It was so beneficial for me because it helped me…when you are growing like a rocket, you don’t get to pause.”

Rad also revealed that the number of ‘matches’ has grown from just under 4 billion to 11 billion in the last year, an indication of the kind of growth the company is experiencing, something that brands are no doubt eyeballing, given Tinder’s now refined advertising offer, which Rad said the company took a long time to get right to maintain the user experience.

“We are strict because starting out we wanted to make sure we got the product perfect for users and brands. We have a high bar," he said.

In an interview last year with The Drum, Rad said that branded profiles receive about a 20 per cent swipe right rate (meaning people liked it). “The engagement levels that Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are seeing pale in comparison to what we’re seeing,” he claimed.

Video is now a focus for Tinder and Rad said that he is interested in exploring partnership similar to one it ran last year with singer Jason Derulo, who premiered the video for his single ‘Want to Want Me’ on the dating app.

Sean Rad Advertising Week Tinder

More from Sean Rad

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +