Whitney Wolfe, the company’s co-founder, has filed a lawsuit accusing her fellow senior executives of sexually harassing and discriminating against her.
Wolfe claims that Justin Mateen, the Chief Marketing Officer, is verbally abusive and controlling. She accused him of calling her a “whore” and “slut” repeatedly, including in front of Sean Rad, the company’s chief.
According to CNN, Wolfe and Mateen had a romantic history. As their relationship turned bad, Wolfe says that Rad and Mateen informed her that the co-founder title was to be taken from her. She also claims that Rad and Mateen told her that she is a “24-year-old girl with little experience” and that she made the company “look like a joke.”
Mateen is also said to have told Wolfe that both Snapchat and Facebook have no such thing as ‘girl founders’ , hence she makes Tinder look like ‘some accident’.
Wolfe presented her resignation after Mateen called her a whore at a company event. According to Wolfe, the resignation is in exchange for severance in addition to vesting of her company stock. Rad rejected Wolfe’s offer and fired her.
IAC, Tinder parent’s company that was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, stated that it suspended Mateen due to an ongoing internal investigation.
An IAC representative also said in an emailed statement that throughout the whole process, it became clear that Mateen sent Wolfe private messages containing inappropriate content.
He further stated that the company unequivocally condemns such messages, though believes that Wolfe’s allegations regarding Tinder and its management are baseless.
The lawsuit describes Wolfe, the former face of Tinder, as responsible for marketing the dating app to fellow young women, which acts as a tool for empowerment.
Tinder has a large user base in Kenya.