Tinder's Sean Rad shows how not to do a pre-IPO interview

With Match Group going public on Thursday, this week was probably not the best time for Tinder CEO Sean Rad to sit down for a strange interview with the Evening Standard.

Rad (l) with Mark Cuban. (Image via Tinder's Facebook page).
Rad (l) with Mark Cuban. (Image via Tinder's Facebook page).

On the eve of its IPO, Match Group took the rare step of publicly rebuking one of its CEOs after Tinder chief Sean Rad sat down for a highly unusual interview with The Evening Standard.

The company, which owns and operates Tinder and a host of other dating apps, distanced itself from the article in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

"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," Match Group said.

However, it wasn’t the financial minutiae or user statistics mentioned by the author that turned readers’ heads. In the piece, Rad estimates out loud that he’s had about 20 sexual partners, then misuses the word "sodomy" – which is the kind of word you don’t want to mutter out loud in an interview if you don’t know what it means.

Rad also seemed to have done too much homework on the author of a critical September Vanity Fair piece about modern, app-driven dating – remember Tinder’s 30-tweet rant? – saying, "There’s some stuff about her as an individual that will make you think differently."

Tinder VP of communications and branding Rosette Pambakian has a co-starring role in the piece, described as a "deadpan brunette whose glances are like well-armed grenades."

And though Rad is overly bullish on Tinder’s accomplishments – "We’ve solved the biggest problem in humanity: that you’re put on this planet to meet people" – others were less so about his timing and interview skills.

Did the interview have an impact, other than sending Match Group executives running for the Advil? Shares of the company were up as much as 15% during its Thursday debut.

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