Published: Fri, January 06, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Ex-Employee Says Snapchat Fakes Numbers and Wants to Destroy His Reputation

Pompliano also said Snapchat, officially named Snap Inc., shared the inflated metrics with some investors, such as China-based Alibaba Group, in an effort to bolster its standing ahead of a planned initial public offering, which could occur as early as March.

Further, Pompliano contests that Snapchat only poached him from Facebook - where he served a similar role - to gather proprietary information on its arch-rival.

Anthony Pompliano, who was hired from Facebook Inc. in 2015 to focus on user growth and engagement, said he was sacked after he refused to go along with the figures that made the company look better than it actually was, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

A lawsuit filed against Snapchat by a former employee alleging that it faked its growth figures has "no merit" according to the company. He alleged Snap made the false representations to him before he was hired.

The suit - many paragraphs are partially or completely blacked out - alleges Pompliano was "fraudulently induced" to leave Facebook, described in the complaint as "a spurned suitor turned fierce competitor" of Snapchat. "It is totally made up by a disgruntled former employee".

A spokesperson for Snap Inc said it a statement that the company had reviewed the complaint and "it has no merit". The IPO could value Snap at more than $25 billion while raising around $4 billion for the Venice firm to invest in hiring, product research and other initiatives, sources have said. Facebook and its separate Messenger and Instagram apps have added several features popular on Snapchat, including the ability to decorate images with whimsical doodles and send disappearing messages. Pompliano is also pursuing a wrongful termination claim through the arbitration process, in accordance with the terms of his contract. The company must now file to maintain the redcations, Michaels said. Pompliano's attorney, David Michaels, told the Los Angeles Times the redactions are to protect information that is subject to a confidentiality agreement between his client and Snap. Analysts estimate that the company generated close to $400 million in ad revenue in 2016.

Pompliano is seeking an injunction that would bar Snap from misrepresenting the reason for his firing. Pompliano is seeking damages for lost wages and harm to his professional reputation, as well as punitive damages.

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