Last fall, Sean Rad told Bloomberg Businessweek that he met his girlfriend of four months on Tinder, the same dating app where he serves as CEO. That young lady, who went unnamed, is 20-year-old Alexa Dell, the daughter of beleaguered billionaire Michael Dell. Alexa made headlines in 2012 when she turned up on Rich Kids of Instagram. Rad was 27-years-old as of September.
Rad's relationship with Dell is no secret. It's been apparent for months on their public social media accounts. The New York Times even hinted at in this intimate photograph accompanying a feature about how Santa Monica is the new Silicon Valley. (Like Snapchat and Whisper, Tinder's offices are based in Los Angeles. The staff seems to like hanging out at Soho House.)
The Times does not mention Dell's father or even the status of her relationship with Rad. However Dell posted the snogging photo on Instagram, accompanied by the Beyoncé lyric "Why can't I keep my fingers off it baby" and a coy surfboard emoji. Rad's profile picture on Instagram used to be a photo of the two of them; hers still is. It appears that he also deleted some images of them as a couple from his account.
Neither Rad nor Dell immediately responded to requests from Valleywag to verify that they are still involved. Her last photo, from two weeks ago, was of birthday cupcakes for Tinder cofounder Justin Mateen, taken at Tinder's West Hollywood headquarters.
This is probably not the first and certainly not the last romance between a tech CEO and a tech scion. What's surprising here is how very little Dell has changed since her costly social media disasters.
Alexa caused a ruckus for Dell Inc. in August, 2012 when her lackadaisical approach to privacy, which included GPS-enabled tweets and exact dates, times, and locations of where her parents would be, jeopardized a family security detail that regulatory filings confirm cost her father $2.7 million a year. The tipping point was an Instagram photo of her brother Zachary Dell en route to Fiji in the family jet in front of a breakfast buffet fit for a Kim Jong Un. It pretty much made the Rich Kids of Instagram brand.
When news of the security risk broke, Alexa shut down her Twitter account and the Instagram photo was taken down. At the time, a Dell spokesman declined to comment on whether it was for security concerns. No matter, because she's been tweeting as @alexakdell from a public and location-enabled Twitter account since at least July, 2012. Rad is one her followers. He and Tinder are the main subject of her tweets. From that public Twitter account, Dell tweets links to her private, location-enabled Instagram account. She's been posting on Instagram as alexakdell, since at least August, 2012—the same month her security faux pas made the news.
It's probably no fun to stay off social media just because your dad made a killing off of mediocre and occasionally defective computers. Perhaps the Ivy League student brokered some deal with her father not to expose any security-compromising details about the rest of the family? If so, he should add Throwback Thursday to the no fly list.
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