In amazing tabloid interview, Tinder's CEO threatens to smear a female journalist and gets confused about sodomy
Here at Pando we love a "returning founder to restore the soul of a company" narrative.
Jack Dorsey returning to save Twitter, Michael Dell returning to save Dell and now... Sean Rad returning to ensure that Tinder's IPO goes with a... uh... bang?
First: Who knew that Sean Rad was returning to Tinder? Second: Who the hell thought it was a good idea for the company's Chief Executive Manchild to sit down with a British tabloid journalist on the eve of Match Group going public?
Actually, we know the answer to that second one. Rosette Pambakian, vice-president, communications and branding, thought it was a good idea for Rad to talk to London's Evening Standard. We know that because Pambakian managed to fail at PR rule #1: Don't make yourself part of the story.
Beside him is Rosette Pambakian, vice- president, communications and branding, a deadpan brunette whose glances are like well-aimed grenades.
Rosette has just given him “a lecture”, he says, “about how I need to be careful because people might want to be with me for the wrong reasons. Basically, the long and short of this speech was that I shouldn’t date, get married or do anything and just become a priest.”
"[A] deadpan brunette whose glances are like well-aimed grenades."
Thanks, 50 Shades of Someone's Getting Fired.
Amazingly, that quote was far from the best of the interview. How about the ugly, ugly part of the conversation where Rad channels Uber's Emil Michael and tries to smear a female journalist who wrote negatively about Tinder?
Rad is “defensive” and still “upset” about the article, muttering mysteriously that he has done his own “background research” on the writer.. “and there’s some stuff about her as an individual that will make you think differently.” He won’t elaborate on the matter.
And there's more:
He admits he’s “addicted” to Tinder — “every other week I fall in love with a new girl” — but right now is single. “I’m focused. It’s such a critical time for the company so unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time for any of that.” Actually, Rad is not much of a playboy. He’s been in four relationships and “I loved them all.”
He lost his virginity at the relatively ancient age of 17 — “it was a serious relationship, my first love” — and, unlike the profile of the average male user of his dating app, has slept with only a modest 20 women. “Am I allowed to tell her?” he checks with Rosette before disclosing this.
“Only if it’s a nice low number,” she replies, cooly. “Is 20 low?
He’s desperate to impress on me how gallant he is, citing the fact that a “supermodel, someone really, really famous” has been “begging” him for sex “and I’ve been like, no”. She’s “taunted” him, he says, and “called me a prude”.
“She’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen but it doesn’t mean that I want to rip her clothes off and have sex with her. Attraction is nuanced...”
“I do not condone penis pictures — that is just NOT who I am”
And the winner, ladies and gentlemen...
“Apparently there’s a term for someone who gets turned on by intellectual stuff. You know, just talking. What’s the word?” His face creases the effort of trying to remember. “I want to say ‘sodomy’?”
Rosette shrieks: “That’s it! We’re going to be fired” and Rad looks confused. “What? Why?”
I tell him it means something else and he thumbs his phone for a definition. “What? No, not that. That’s definitely not me. Oh, my God.”
Sounds like Rad is ready for the prime time.
No, sorry, not that. That's definitely not him. Oh my God.