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Tinder CEO Sean Rad says being fired was one of the best things that ever happened to him

"In a weird way, not being the CEO is exactly what helped me learn what it means to be a CEO."

Asa Mathat

When Tinder co-founder Sean Rad was fired as the company's CEO in March 2015, he wasn't very happy.

But time heals all wounds — or at least puts them into perspective — and Rad, who ended up returning to the same CEO role about six months later, says now that getting fired wasn't such a bad thing after all.

"Being fired was one of the hardest things that ever happened to me but it was also one of the best things that ever happened to me," Rad told Recode's Kara Swisher onstage Thursday at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Rad said that getting the boot taught him two things. First: Perspective.

"When you lose the title you sort of have to ask yourself what's important," Rad explained. "What mattered was that I get to wake up every day and work on something that I love."

Second: Humility. Before getting fired, Rad said he saw being the CEO as needing to have all the answers. After he shed that title, he said he learned it was okay to admit he didn't.

"Particularly when you're young, you imagine that a leader has all the answers so there's a lot of pressure being at the helm of a fast growing company," he said. "I felt a lot of pressure every day and I didn't have all the answers."

"In a weird way, not being the CEO is exactly what helped me learn what it means to be a CEO," he added.

Rad says things are going well since his return. Tinder recently announced one million paid active users, or folks who pay for access to extra features inside the otherwise free app. Rad wouldn't talk about Tinder's financial details, though, dodging the question on whether or not Tinder is profitable. "We're part of a public company," he explained, a nod to Tinder's owner, Match Group.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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