Snapchat’s ex-employee has filed a law suit against the company for misrepresenting its financial state. Anthony Pompliano who worked in the business operations department of the company for three weeks before being fired in September 2015, alleged that Snapchat misrepresented its financial state while recruiting him. According to Los Angeles Times, the former employee also alleged that the company forced him to reveal secrets about his time at Facebook.
According to court papers, Pompliano alleged that Snapchat lied about the reason for his termination since 2015, thereby hindering his chances of getting another job in the social media industry.
A copy of the lawsuit states: “Mr. Pompliano was terminated because he refused to participate in a scheme to deceive the public and artificially inflate Snapchat’s valuation in anticipation of its” initial public stock offering,” per the LA Times.
However, a spokesperson of the company, Mary Ritti said Pompliano’s complaint lacked merit. “It is totally made up by a disgruntled former employee,” Ritti said in a statement.
Pompliano worked three weeks at Snapchat after leaving Facebook, and claimed he only discovered the company’s false representations and urged some of the company’s executives to make necessary corrections. He later found out that he was hired by the company purposely to obtain Facebook’s confidential and proprietary data; claiming he was forced into breaching his nondisclosure agreements. He further alleged that his refusal “drew the ire of Snapchat’s senior management.”
“Because the truth concerning Mr. Pompliano’s termination was so potentially damaging to Snapchat’s planned IPO, terminating him wasn’t enough to ensure the public was kept in the dark,” writes Michaels. “Accordingly, post-termination, Snapchat has sought to destroy his career and reputation by waging a smear campaign against Mr. Pompliano, by making false representations concerning the circumstances of his termination,” per Hollywood Reporter.
Pompliano is asking the court to bar Snap [the owner of Snapchat] from misrepresenting the reason he was fired. He alleged that the company told employees that the reason for he was disengaged was because of incompetence. In a separate suit, Pompliano had filed an arbitration claim seeking lost wages and among other damages alleging wrongful firing in the early stages.
Outside the law court, Snapchat is also engaged in a fierce battle with Facebook to win over consumers. The company is perhaps, the biggest competitor to both Facebook and Instagram. In the last couple of years, both Instagram and Facebook have launched series of features and products allegedly copied from the books of Snapchat.
One of the biggest features copied from Snapchat by Instagram is Story; a feature that brought so much fame and success to the former.
The feature is the company’s big step towards boosting its growth rate and give its rivals a run for their money. “Stories” will encourage users to post stories about their lives as often as they could.
Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom didn’t deny the fact that the new feature was taken out of the books of Snapchat. When asked to confirm if that was the case, he said: “They deserve all the credit”, insisting that “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”