- Tinder has fired its vice president of marketing and communications, Rosette Pambakian, and a “number” of other employees who participated in a $ 2 billion lawsuit against the dating app’s owners, according to a report by The Verge.
- Tinder employees involved in the lawsuit, including Pambakian, had been put on leave back in August, but were recently let go because they were “unable to fulfill their job responsibilities.”
- In August, a group of 10 current and former Tinder employees sued the dating app’s parent company IAC and Match Group for $ 2 billion for allegedly undervaluing the startup on purpose to devalue early employee options.
- Part of the lawsuit also involved allegations that former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt “groped and sexually harassed” Pambakian at a company holiday party.
- Match and IAC have previously called key claims of the lawsuit “meritless.”
Tinder has fired its vice president of marketing and communications, Rosette Pambakian, as well as a “number” of other employees who participated in a $ 2 billion lawsuit against the Match Group, the owners of the dating app, according to a report by The Verge.
Tinder employees involved in the lawsuit, including Pambakian, had been put on leave back in August. A spokesperson for the Match Group confirms to Business Insider that “we’ve terminated a number of employees who are unable to perform their responsibilities.”
In an email addressed to Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg and published by the Verge, Pambakian said:
“I love Tinder. And I love my colleagues. But you have now fired me from a company I was so proud to build in blatant retaliation for joining a group of colleagues and Tinder’s original founding members in a lawsuit against Match and IAC, standing up for our rights, calling out the company’s CEO Greg for sexual misconduct, and confronting the company about covering up what happened to me.”
“Your position was never at risk due to any sexual harassment complaints. I wanted to find a way to keep you employed at Tinder,” Ginsberg said in a reply e-mail sent to Pambakian, as provided by a spokesperson to Match. You can read Ginsberg’s full letter below.
In August, a group of 10 current and former Tinder employees sued the dating app’s parent company Match Group, which is itself owned by conglomerate IAC, for $ 2 billion for allegedly undervaluing the startup on purpose to devalue early employee options. Match and IAC have said these claims are “meritless.”
Part of the lawsuit also involves allegations that former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt “groped and sexually harassed” Pambakian at a company holiday party in 2016.
Match said of the sexual harassment allegations at the time that it had “conducted a careful and thorough investigation under the direction of independent Board members, concluded, among other things, that there was no violation of law or company policy.”
The full Verge report – including Pambakian’s email and Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg’s response – can be found here.
Here’s Tinder CEO Mandy Ginsberg’s full response to Pambakian, provided by a Match spokesperson:
I’m glad you reached out to me directly and I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few points, because there seems to be a very real disconnect here that I truly want to fix.
You were not terminated because you reported Greg for sexual harassment. You couldn’t have been, as you never reported Greg for sexual harassment. When Sean Rad brought the subject up nearly five months later, right after the valuation process commenced, it was immediately and thoroughly investigated by the Board, independently without any involvement from Greg, which concluded that no sexual harassment occurred. I was not the CEO at the time, but I know that you were interviewed on at least two separate occasions and you never alleged sexual harassment.
On the topic of sexual harassment at Tinder, you know how seriously reports are taken. You yourself reported two other male colleagues, whom Sean Rad hired, and they were very quickly dismissed. Clearly, it was taken very seriously given the company terminated those individuals. More importantly though, Greg is no longer here. I am. And I promise you, we do not retaliate against anyone who reports sexual harassment. Your position was never at risk due to any sexual harassment complaints. I wanted to find a way to keep you employed at Tinder.
As explained in the letter we sent you, you were terminated because it was not possible for you to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of your role as Tinder’s spokesperson for a number of reasons, including your public position against the company over a valuation process. We also recently asked you to come to the office for a meeting with the HR department to discuss work-related activities and policies and were told that we can only contact you through your attorneys. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for you to do your work at Tinder if all communications related to your job have to go through your lawyers. As it relates to your personal information, any suggestion that we have been trying to access it is just not true. Like any company, we’ve asked for you, and all other employees involved, to return company laptops, phones and other devices to us. And unfortunately, we couldn’t retrieve a number of company devices from you and the others since you claimed that they were coincidentally all lost or damaged just before you decided to sue the company.
There are two last points I want to make: on the point about your equity, those options have already been accelerated, and should be exercisable in your account, along with the other equity awards that have vested since August. However, on the arbitration agreements, there is no NDA in them and we never tried to force you to sign a non-disparagement agreement. You’re free to talk about anything publicly that you’d like. You have already done so and that’s your prerogative. But the arbitration agreement is attached again. As you already know from when you signed it, it’s clearly labeled “Agreement to Arbitrate.”
I am a strong female advocate and have said to the women in the organization that as a female CEO in charge, I have zero tolerance for bad behavior and I am very much invested in every single employee’s success. If you’d like to discuss any of the above, or have a productive dialogue, I am here and will make myself available for an in person meeting. Just let me know.