First comes the Twitter meltdown, then come the firings. At least, that seems to be Tinder’s modus operandi this week, after the popular dating app choreographed a bizarrely bad rant in a series of tweets in an “overreaction” to a Vanity Fair article. And now that the smoke has cleared, the casualty, other than (what was left of) Tinder’s dignity, is its CEO of just five months.
On Wednesday, following the media storm surrounding Tinder’s 31-tweet-strong nervous breakdown, little fanfare was made of Christopher Payne’s departure from the company. He will be replaced by Sean Rad, one of the app’s co-founders, who was himself ousted back in March. Guess the swiping’s getting all sorts of confused in the HQ.
Speaking in an interview with Re/Code, Tinder board member and Benchmark partner Matt Cohler said of the decision, “It became clear after a few months that it wasn’t going to become a long-term fit. It’s only been a few months, but everyone came to the realization, the board and Christopher, and all agreed it wouldn’t work out long-term. Given that, we thought we might as well take action on this sooner than later.” Just like any breakup, ripping off the bandaid is always better than leaving it hanging.
In a separate statement, Payne echoed these sentiments, saying, “I enjoyed my time at Tinder but we mutually determined that this wasn’t going to be optimal and thought that a quick transition served everybody best. I think Tinder’s going to be an incredible company.”
While it remains unclear as to how much the Twitter backlash affected the ultimate decision to replace Payne, it’s hard not to guess given the very public ridicule Tinder suffered as a result of the publicity stunt. And considering that the two events happened just 48 hours apart, it certainly feels like a little more than coincidence.
But as with most relationships, it’s impossible from the outside to truly know what went wrong — so pick up the pieces, Tinder and Payne, and make like all other Tinder users do after a few dates. Just keep swiping.
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