Snap CEO Evan Spiegel Responds to Claims of ‘Toxic’ Workplace: ‘We Need to Do More’

Snapchat co-founder calls ex-employee’s claims a “wake-up call” while speaking at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Evan Spiegel Snap CEO
Via Recode / Vox Media

Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel said Tuesday night that his company needs “to do more, and do it faster,” in response to a former employee’s claim that the Snapchat parent company was a “toxic” and “sexist” place to work.

Spiegel was speaking at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and referring to former Snap software engineer Shannon Lubetich telling Cheddar that the company had a “pervading sexist vibe” earlier on Tuesday. Lubetich pointed to a Santa Monica party with “scantily clad women,” and said Snap VP Tim Sehn made a “penis enlargement joke” as examples of Snap’s raucous culture.

“I think all of the negative things that happened to me and were said to me while I was there fueled this continuously burning fire of frustration and anger,” Lubetich told Cheddar.

Lubetich also sent an email to more than 1,000 Snap employees before leaving the company last fall, calling into question the company’s perceived lack of diversity.

At the Code Conference, Spiegel called the email a “wake-up call … we need to do more and do it faster,” and said that Snap had brought in outside consultants after Lubetich left the company.

“I’m proud of the changes from the last six months,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a lot more to do.”

Spiegel was on hand to discuss the company’s rough transition as a public company, as well as stiff competition from Instagram — where he found time to make a joke at the expense of Facebook’s data privacy woes.