A Perfect Match for Match Group
When 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’ Stephen Konstans, Vice President, led the search, pre-screening candidates and conducting preliminary interviews to narrow the field.
“Stephen was responsive and focused,” Swidler says. “He clearly took the search personally; he was more than just ‘doing the job.’ He gave me advice, kept me up to date and guided me through the search. He 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 Konstans’ integrity and professionalism, and his respect for her throughout the process. She had worked with him and Pearson Partners in the past, and her experience with the Match Group search exceeded her expectations.
“I have known Stephen Konstans for many years and have always respected his high integrity and people-centric approach to recruiting,” says Martin. “Working with Stephen on the Match Group CAO position reinforced my respect of his insightful leadership and diligence throughout the process—he never left me uncertain about next steps or progress. Stephen’s superior professionalism, dedication and integrity are exceptional in the industry and reflect positively on the entire firm.”
“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. Stephen did a very good job making sure he helped us be successful. I’m very happy with the outcome.”