Pro tip: An interview just prior to an IPO is not the time for a chief executive to unburden his soul. Too bad no one told Tinder CEO Sean Rad (who seems in serious danger of becoming the app’s former CEO yet again) before he gave what is undoubtedly the most uncomfortable, bizarre, poorly timed, and just all around so-bad-that-it’s-good interview of all time to the London Evening Standard.
In addition to making thinly veiled threats against Vanity Fair’s Nancy Jo Sales (the author of the piece that prompted Tinder’s infamous Twitter meltdown), detailing his sexual exploits, and of course, getting very confused about the definition of “sodomy,” Rad may have also put the impending IPO of parent company Match Group in jeopardy as well. All in a day’s work!
Anticipating the potential firestorm that Rad’s disastrous interview may have caused, Match Group issued an SEC filing yesterday evening whose main message was clearly, “We had nothing to do with any of that.” Though doubtless embarrassed by the absolutely absurd picture the Standard piece painted of Rad, the main objective of Match Group’s additional filing was to highlight inaccuracies in terms of Tinder’s numbers.
That’s because false public statements by a corporate officer concerning business or financial results for companies that are planning to go public are a big no-no under the SEC regulations. And companies that are about to go public must observe a “quiet period,” during which their officers are to avoid public assertions about business results or prospects.
“The article noted that ‘Analysts believe the [Tinder] app, which launched in 2012, has around 80 million users worldwide and records 1.8 billion “swipes” a day,’” the filing says. ” While these statements were not made by Mr. Rad, the Company notes that they are inaccurate and directs readers to the Preliminary Prospectus, which states that for the month of September 2015, Tinder had approximately 9.6 million daily active users, with Tinder users “swiping” through an average of more than 1.4 billion user profiles each day.”
While experts note that nothing Rad said was problematic (or illegal) enough to completely destroy the IPO, the already shaky reputation of the dating apps under the Match Group umbrella is only being further damaged by Rad’s braggadocio (apparently, a “supermodel, someone really, really famous” has been “begging” him for sex “and I’ve been like, no”), his statements concerning his “modest” sexual history (only 20 sexual partners? Nice! Thanks for sharing, Rad), and his all-around failure on the PR front.
In the written equivalent of the longest sigh in the history of humanity, Match Group also noted, “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.”
So a word to the wise, Mr. Rad. Consider a little fact-checking before your next interview. Or better yet, just don’t give another one.