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Sean Rad steps down as Tinder CEO as sexual harassment fallout continues

Tinder CEO Sean Rad will be stepping down from his position to become president of the dating app as it searches for a replacement.

According to Forbes (opens in new tab), Rad will remain as CEO until the firm can find "an Eric Schmidt-like person" to succeed him.

Read more: Technology still plagued by sexism: Less than half of workers would report a sexist incident (opens in new tab)

Earlier this year, Tinder was rocked by a sexual harassment scandal, with Whitney Wolfe accusing co-founders Rad and Justin Mateen of subjecting her to sexist abuse. The suit was settled out-of-court in September, but insider sources suggest that the case is partly responsible for Rad's change of role.

According to reports, Rad was not ready to give up his position as CEO, considering the sexual harassment case to be dealt with.

"The board thought the best path was to bring in a CEO, thinking if we opened up the role it would attract better talent," he said. "I strongly disagreed."

However, it seems that Tinder's owner IAC has sought to make a clean break following the messy legal battle.

A company insider is reported to have said that "the lawsuit gave [IAC] an out," providing the opportunity to remove Rad.

The Tinder co-founder will remain heavily involved in the search for his replacement, and is keen to stress that the dating app remains on track.

Its first-ever revenue generator, Tinder Plus, is set to launch "imminently," as a premium service that can be used to add extra features to the otherwise free app. Tinder Plus will include a travel feature, enabling users to swipe through matches in other cities, as well as an "undo" option.

Read more: Tinder settles Whitney Wolfe sexual harassment lawsuit (opens in new tab)

In the Forbes interview, Rad also goes on to detail a number of other ambitious projects that he has planned for the Tinder platform, but it remains to be seen if he will get the opportunity to implement them following his enforced departure as CEO.

Imane Credit: JD Lasica (opens in new tab)

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.