Snapchat employees are, like, really unhappy

1 year ago by Joshua Fruhlinger

Snap Inc. ($NYSE:SNAP) is having a bad time.

Such a bad time that, as you can see in the graph below, the company’s Glassdoor ratings are trending in a southerly direction.

What was once a great place to work at (ranked as high as 4.2 out of 5 on Glassdoor last summer), Snap Inc. has seen a rough year. Most recently, it’s seen a top-executive exodus, including Tom Conrad, vice president of product, right when they need him most. Conrad was a close ally of Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel, and his departure was described by TechCrunch as a change that “could introduce instability at a critical time for Snapchat's product, as it’s in the middle of rolling out a massive redesign.”

This is especially critical, as the redesign is seeing extremely poor ratings by early users in the Canadian and UK markets.

What is even more confusing from a product standpoint is that that Snap, Inc. now calls itself a "camera company." This is, of course, after it invested heavily in the Spectacle camera glasses that have been widely considered a failure. If Snap ever needed Conrad, it would be now.

Conrad was the sixth high-impact exec to exit the company. Before that, Tim Sehn, head of engineering headed for the door. And before that, the company lost its head of content development, vice president of legal and human resources, and its vice president of security.

This has all resulted in a post-IPO stock price that, after a March, 2017 high of 27.09, fell to a comparably paltry 13.75 today. If you were an employee at Snap, Inc. with options to perhaps one day sell, you’d be a bit anxious, too.

And it only gets worse for employees. In an eye-opening story broken by Daily Beast last week, it was revealed that employees are threatened with termination if they talk about what they do at work to friends or family. The article paints of picture of institutional paranoia and secrecy, to the point that employees were themselves unaware of new product features and user response to new features.

In fact, news network Cheddar got their hands on an internal memo threatening jail time for employees who dared speak a word of what they do at Snap.

Wrote Snap’s chief lawyer:

“If you leak Snap Inc. information, you will lose your job and we will pursue any and all legal remedies against you. And that’s just the start. You can face personal financial liability even if you yourself did not benefit from the leaked information. The government, our investors, and other third parties can also seek their own remedies against you for what you disclosed. The government can even put you in jail.”

It’s no wonder, then, that Snap Inc. employees would be down on the company when making their opinions known at the public-facing Glassdoor employer ranking service.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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