A Perfect Match for Match Group

Go Back to Searchlight Q1 2017

logo of match groupWhen Match Group (MTCH) became a publicly traded company in November 2015, it needed a chief accounting officer with the specialized skills and experience to take the company into its new phase. At the time of its IPO, Match Group owned 45 brands, including Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid and PlentyOfFish. Across all of its brands, the company was supporting 59 million active users in 190 countries.

Match Group CFO, Gary Swidler, was seeking an executive search firm with a strong understanding of the Dallas talent market. A colleague “very highly recommended” Pearson Partners International. That colleague’s recommendation convinced him that he’d found the right firm for the job, and he hired Pearson Partners for the search in 2016.

“We wanted to find someone with Big 4 accounting experience, ideally someone who had been a CAO or CFO of another publicly traded company—a company like ours,” Swidler recalls. “We needed to see clear, demonstrable experience and capabilities. We did not want to take a chance, as our business is fast-paced and complex. We wanted someone who had M&A experience, doing complicated transactions, in a company that had a parent company.”

Working on an aggressive timeline, Pearson Partners launched the search, pre-screening candidates and conducting preliminary interviews to narrow the field.

“The Pearson Partners team was responsive and focused,” Swidler says. “They clearly took the search personally – more than just ‘doing the job.’ They gave me advice, kept me up to date and guided me through the search. They did a good job surfacing candidates and bringing them to me, so I didn’t have to do the work.”

Pearson Partners’ search process led Match Group to Sandy Martin, a seasoned leader who had previously been CFO at Tribune Publishing and had the right mix of skills and experience for the job. She came on board in November 2016.

Martin was impressed by Pearson Partners’ integrity and professionalism and the team’s respect for her throughout the process. She had worked with Pearson Partners in the past, and her experience with the Match Group search exceeded her expectations.

“I have known some of the Pearson Partners team for many years and have always respected their high integrity and people-centric approach to recruiting,” says Martin. “Working with Pearson Partners on the Match Group CAO position reinforced my respect for their insightful leadership and diligence throughout the process—they never left me uncertain about next steps or progress. Their superior professionalism, dedication and integrity are exceptional in the industry.”

“Sandy has been a great executive,” Swidler says. “She takes control, leads, learns and takes the right path. She works well with the team. She’s a great find, and she’s excited about the job and making an impact already. Pearson Partners did a very good job helping us to be successful. I’m very happy with the outcome.”

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