A former employee of Snapchat, an image-based messaging application, has alleged that its CEO, Evan Spiegel, said the app was not meant for “poor countries” such as India.
“This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain,” Mr Spiegel said, according to Anthony Pompliano, who was allegedly fired from the firm after just three weeks into the job. He has filed a lawsuit against Snap Inc. — the parent company of Snapchat, with 26-year-old Spiegel at the helm as CEO.
In a report by Variety, Mr Pompliano, who had been hired from Facebook, claims he discovered the company had “an institutional aversion to looking at user data”. And later, during a presentation he was making for Mr Spiegel, it’s alleged that the CEO “cut him off”. The dismissal of India and Spain as potential markets was the reply Mr Spiegel had to Mr Pompliano’s suggestion. Three weeks later, he was fired. He claims Snapchat bosses attempted to tarnish his reputation making it “impossible for him to find another job”.
In his lawsuit, Mr Pompliano says that he was worried about Snapchat’s growth. He says he became further concerned when he studied user growth over the previous nine months, and found that it the user base increased only 1 per cent to 4 per cent per quarter — far less than the double-digit month-over-month growth that the company was claiming, Variety notes. “What he uncovered was a wide-spread, systemic failure in Snapchat’s internal controls over its user data,” the suit claims. But according to the lawsuit, Mr Spiegel completely ignored Mr Pompliano’s concerns and suggestions.