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Tinder Attempts To Swipe Away Lawsuit

Tinder CEO Sean Rad didn’t say much about the recently settled lawsuit between his dating company and former marketing executive and disputed cofounder Whitney Wolfe at TechCrunch Disrupt on Wednesday. 

Wolfe accused cofounders Rad and Justin Mateen of sexual harassment, including a “barrage of horrendously sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails and text messages.”

But he did say that Mateen has resigned—something that occurred around the same time Tinder’s majority stake-holder, IAC/Interactive Corp., settled the sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money. 

“Justin has resigned to focus on Justin,” Rad said on stage in an interview with TechCrunch reporter Jordan Crook.

See also: The Bathroom Lines At Tech Conferences Could Use Some Disruption

Tinder, one of the most popular free mobile dating apps in the U.S., allows users to quickly flip through photos of potential dates, using a finger to swipe right on a picture if interested, and left if not. Users who swipe right on each other’s profiles are notified of their mutual interest.

Rad also avoided the question about whether or not Wolfe was a cofounder of the company. In the lawsuit, Wolfe claimed she was stripped of this credit. Additionally, Rad wouldn’t comment on the fact that the suit was settled with no admission of wrongdoing on Tinder’s part. 

“Whitney was hired to work on marketing,” Rad said. “She did a phenomenal job, particularly with respect to executing our strategy on college campuses.”

Tinder has become a very public example of the poor treatment women in tech experience. And considering Tinder is reportedly raising another round of funding at a valuation of $750 million, Rad is likely trying to put the lawsuit behind him and the company. Instead of talking too much about the settlement, he provided some advice for startups who are building their company with friends. 

“When you have that kind of relationship and closeness within your team … the lines get blurred,” Rad said. “Creating boundaries earlier on would be healthy.”

Boundaries? You don’t say.

Rad said that in the wake of the settlement, he is working with the Tinder team to ensure everyone knows their place in the company, and is pushing forward to achieve what the company set out to do—which is enable people to date by swiping “yes” on a mobile app.

Lead image by Selena Larson for ReadWrite.

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