Ex-Employee Accuses Snapchat Maker Of 'Toxic' Culture

Former Snap Software Engineer Shannon Lubetich accused the Snapchat maker of nurturing a "toxic" and "sexist" corporate culture, having first criticized the firm in an internal email sent in November on the day she resigned. In a subsequent interview with Cheddar, Ms. Lubetich reiterated most of her previous claims about Snap not being an inclusive employer, having raised concerns about some of its executives and the general atmosphere at the ephemeral messaging service. One episode she believes is illustrative of that issue is Snap's sixth-anniversary party held last summer in a Sancta Monica hangar, an occasion on which the firm hired three scantily dressed models meant to resemble Snapchat's deer lens, tasking them with posing for photographs and serving drinks. The models even made Snap co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel uncomfortable, according to Mary Ritti, the firm's Vice President of Communications.

Former Vice President of Engineering Tim Sehn has also been called out for inappropriate comments, having been reported by Ms. Lubetich to Human Resources on two occasions. His behavior and that of some other male colleagues at least partially enabled a "pervading sexist vibe" at Snap, according to Ms. Lubetich. Luscious hot tub parties were a frequent after-hours occurrence at the firm and likely contributed to its "bro culture" being maintained even as it continued growing, as indicated by the former engineer's account.

The company behind the popular ephemeral messaging platform had a difficult 2017, having gone public early last year as part of a move that many industry analysts described as premature; whereas its stock debuted at north of $27, it's worth less than $11 just over a year later. Snap continues to lose money, with Mr. Spiegel now reportedly trying to somehow break even in 2018, presumably through more aggressive monetization such as unskippable ads recently introduced to American users, as well as cost-cutting efforts, most of which came in the form of broad layoffs so far.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]