By Ryan Velez
At a time where Snapchat and its investors should be celebrating the recent successful IPO, Snap CEO and founder Evan Speigel is drawing unneeded fire for comments that he allegedly made, reports Black Enterprise. Among the comments he is accused of saying is that Snapchat is only designed for rich people, and that is the main base he is looking to cater to with the platform.
The comments have been brought up in a lawsuit by a former Snap employee, Anthony Pompliano. In Pompliano’s lawsuit, he claims that he was unfairly terminated due to the fact that he refused to be complicit in what he describes as false numbers being given to investors by Snap. Pompliano says that he left Facebook to help lead Snap’s growth, but found that he would not be leading the growth team shortly after starting with Snap. In addition, he alleges that he was asked to divulge Facebook’s confidential secrets despite signing an NDA.
The comments regarding rich people came around the time that Pompliano says that he reached his breaking point, becoming critical of the company’s growth strategy. In addition to believing that Snap was pumping up users in preparation of the IPO, he also asked why Snap was putting a lackluster effort in trying to grow in other countries.
According to lawsuit documents, “Mr. Spiegel again spurned him. For example, the data showed that Snapchat’s international user metrics were very low, even in countries with high-levels of social media engagement, such as Spain and India. When Mr. Pompliano attempted to explain that he could implement strategies to achieve significant growth for Snapchat in these major markets, Mr. Spiegel abruptly cut in and said, ‘This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.” Mr. Spiegel would not entertain any further discussion on the matter.”
Pompliano’s time at Snap ended after only three weeks, but the fallout from the comments has already made an impact. In addition to criticism leveled at Speigel, users knocked the app’s rating to 1.5 on the App Store.
However, Snap denies that the app is only for one set of people. In a formal statement, the company described Pompliano as a “disgruntled employee” and dismissed his allegations as “ridiculous.”