Casting a shadow over Snap Inc’s IPO, a former employee has accused the Snapchat parent of inflating its growth figures.
Anthony Pompliano claims to have been fired after less than a month as Snapchat’s head of growth, because he refused to go along with the alleged scheme, according to a lawsuit filed in L.A. Superior Court this week.
“This action arises out of the avarice of the small group of executives at the helm of the social media giant Snapchat,” the lawsuit states.
“Snapchat’s leadership saw Mr. Pompliano as an impediment to their planned IPO because he refused to turn a blind eye to Snapchat’s misrepresentations,” it alleges.
The suit specifically names several Snap executives, including Drew Boller, the company’s vice president of finance; Jill Hazelbaker, its vice president of communications; and Brian Theisen, then its director of business opperations.
Furthermore, Pompliano contests that Snapchat only poached him from Facebook -- where he served a similar role -- to gather proprietary information on its arch-rival.
Post-termination, the suit alleges that Snap has sought to destroy Pompliano’s “career and reputation by waging a smear campaign against Mr. Pompliano, by making false representations concerning the circumstances of his termination.”
Reached for comment on Thursday, a Snap spokeswoman said the allegations are totally without merit.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story on Wednesday and subsequently published the heavily redacted lawsuit online. a>
Snap filed for its initial public offering, in mid-November. Expected as early as March 2017, the social darling is hoping to raise upwards of $4 billion at a valuation of $25 billion to $35 billion, according to reports.
A quiet filing isn’t uncommon in Silicon Valley -- particularly when companies have yet to generate a ton of revenue. Twitter took a similar approach in 2013.
Standing in stark contrast to struggling social networks like Twitter, Snapchat is presently thriving. Indeed, despite direct competition from Facebook and other tech giants, the company is positioned for “explosive” growth in ad revenue over the next few years, per eMarketer.
The research firm recently predicted the playful messaging app would generate $366.69 million in ad revenues in 2016 and $935.46 million in 2017.