- Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Tinder/GLAAD
- Tinder cofounder Sean Rad says he had “no choice” but to exercise his options in the company last August, a month before he left it.
- The move left him with some 816,000 shares of IAC, Tinder’s parent company.
- His subsequent sale of those shares reflected his lack of faith in IAC, not Tinder, he told The Verge in a new interview.
- The ownership stake in Tinder held by Rad and his founding team is at the center of a lawsuit filed by them against IAC and its Match Group subsidiary earlier this month.
Tinder founder Sean Rad said he was “forced” to exercise his options in the dating app maker right before he left the company, and his subsequent sale of his stock in parent company IAC reflected his lack of faith in it, not in Tinder, according to a report Monday in The Verge.
Rad exercised his Tinder stock options last August in exchange for $94 million in cash and some 816,000 IAC shares, The Verge reported last week, citing a source close to Tinder. The move, which came about a month before he left the company, suggested that he didn’t have faith in Tinder’s future, the source argued.
But Rad told The Verge in a new report that he had “no choice” but to exercise his options. He was fired from the company in September, The Verge reported, and the report indicates he had a sense that his termination was coming. With his options set to expire 30 days after he was dismissed, he risked losing them if he didn’t exercise them first.
His subsequent sale of the IAC shares he received for exercising his Tinder options reflected his lack of faith in Match and IAC, not Tinder, he told The Verge.
“IAC is a holding company full of assets I don’t believe in and that stole billions of dollars from its employees. So I sold the stock,” Rad told the Verge. “Tinder is the company we built and I continue to believe in – not IAC or Match.”
Rad did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ownership stake in Tinder collectively held by Rad and his founding team is at the center of a lawsuit filed by them against IAC and its Match Group subsidiary earlier this month. Rad and his former Tinder colleagues charge that IAC and Match cheated them out of $2 billion by not adhering to their contracts with the companies and by not dealing with them in good faith.
The suit alleges that IAC and Match systematically undervalued the options held by Rad and his former colleagues. It also charges that IAC and Match essentially forced Rad and his team to convert their Tinder options into ones for Match when IAC merged Match with Tinder.
IAC and Match have called the suit “meritless.”