A Fired Snapchat Employee Claims the Company Lied to Investors Ahead of Its IPO
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A former Snapchat employee is accusing the company of lying to investors as it pursues its IPO plans.
In a lawsuit filed in California on January 4, former growth lead Anthony Pompliano alleges that the company has been "falsely misrepresenting" itself, that he was hired away from Facebook so the company could gain confidential information, and that he was fired under false pretenses after raising his concerns.
"Snapchat will not let anything stand in its way of an IPO, including its obligations to represent material facts accurately," Pompliano's court filing reads.
Snap Inc., as Snapchat is now called, has denied the allegations, and counters that they are "totally made up by a disgruntled former employee."
We first heard about the case via The Hollywood Reporter, and you can read Pompliano's full court filing below.
Anthony Pompliano joined Snapchat on August 31, 2015, according to the filings -- and was abruptly terminated three weeks later.
Much of the information in Pompliano's court filing is redacted, so we don't yet have all the details. We don't know the specifics of what Snapchat has been accused of lying about to investors, for example.
We do know that he also claims that he was hired away from Facebook because Snapchat allegedly wanted to steal the larger social network's trade secrets.
"The real reason Snapchat hired Mr. Pompliano away from Facebook was not to build a growth team, but for the nefarious purpose of obtaining Facebook's confidential and proprietary information," the filing alleges.
Pompliano is seeking damages from Snapchat, as well as an injunction to prevent the company telling what he says are lies about the reasons for his termination.
According to the filings, Snapchat says it fired him because he was "incompetent" and "not adequately performing in his position." Pompliano alleges that the real reason is because he refused to provide confidential information on Facebook's business, and concerns that Snapchat allegedly misrepresented itself to "the public, advertisers, prospective employees, or in connection with its planned IPO."
The former employee alleges that Snapchat has damaged his reputation, and hindered his efforts to find a job after working at the company. "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," the suit claims.
A Snapchat spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider, and the company has denied the allegations to other outlets. A spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter: "We've reviewed the complaint. It has no merit. It is totally made up by a disgruntled former employee."