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Did Snapchat inflate its user numbers for IPO?

A former Snapchat employee has claimed that the company lied about its user growth figures in a bid to boost its valuation.

Anthony Pompliano filed a lawsuit (h/t: Yahoo) against Snapchat parent company Snap for wrongful termination, having lasted just three weeks at the company.

Pompliano’s legal representatives claim that the company was “falsely representing” user growth statistics to investors and trading partners, going so far as to call it an “institutional pandemic”.

The ex-employee says that he informed several key figures, including Drew Boller (Snapchat’s vice-president of finance), Jill Hazelbaker (vice-president of communications) and Brian Theisen (director of business operations).

“These efforts, which should have been rewarded, wound up costing Mr Pompliano his job,” read an excerpt of the filing.

A former Snapchat employee claimed that the firm had an “institutional pandemic” of lying about user figures

The former Snapchat employee adds that he was lured away from Facebook with misleading growth figures as well. In fact, Pompliano’s legal papers claim that the real reason why he was hired was so that the company could obtain confidential information about Facebook. The ex-employee said he refused to divulge information about his previous company, citing confidentiality agreements.

“For these reasons, just three weeks into his tenure at Snapchat, the company retaliated against Mr Pompliano by summarily and wrongfully terminating his employment in violation of public policy,” read another excerpt.

Pompliano alleges that Snapchat has conducted a “smear campaign” against him in an attempt to “destroy his career and reputation”. He specifically cited talks with a “major social media company” for a senior executive role.

It’s alleged that the unnamed company abruptly cut off talks with Pompliano after they contacted Snapchat, who claimed that he was incompetent.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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