Science and Tech


Snapchat CEO Called Insecure, Sleazy After Emails Leak

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel is making headlines yet again — this time for vulgar emails he sent while he was an undergrad at Stanford.
Posted at 10:12 AM, May 29, 2014

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel — you know, the guy known for an app that makes photos and messages disappear — probably wants to use a little of that Snapchat magic on some controversial emails he sent.

Valleywag obtained a series of vulgar emails Spiegel sent while he was an undergrad at Stanford. From references to oral sex to homophobic language, from talk of cocaine and marijuana use to sexist language, Spiegel pretty much covers the whole spectrum of what it takes to be, as Valleywag calls him, "sleazy." (Via Flickr / JD Lasica)

International Business Times says Kappa Sigma, Spiegel's fraternity, was rather infamous during his days at Stanford. "The chapter was kicked off campus for violating Stanford's controlled substances and alcohol policy."

And Jordan Crook of TechCrunch says that frankly, the emails confirm something he already knew: "Spiegel is kind of an ass." Crook goes on to describe Spiegel as "a desperately unassured, lanky kid who covers up his insecurity with unabashed cockiness," even to this day.

Still, we have to wonder if insecurity and desperation are any excuse for joking about having urinated on a woman.

This is the guy who made headlines for allegedly forcing out one of Snapchat's creators, reportedly lied to Forbes about how the Facebook-Snapchat deal went down, and failed to issue a timely apology for a major Snapchat security flaw. (Via Business Insider, The Huffington Post)

The Los Angeles Times has Spiegel's official response: "I'm obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic emails during my fraternity days were made public. I have no excuse. I'm sorry I wrote them at the time and I was [a] jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women."

 Valleywag isn't sold on the apology though, pointing out the culture of Silicon Valley almost encourages this "sleazy" behavior. 

"Investors and Valley pundits seek out boys like Spiegel, 'where's my bong?' emails and all, on the assumption that the same lightning that zapped Zuckerberg will continue to strike. ... Maybe, upon reflection, maybe, offering billions of dollars to children is not always prudent." (Via Valleywag)

And Mashable says Spiegel risks upstaging his app with each new headline. "Spiegel has battled the perception of immaturity in the media before, and emails like this won't help his case. It's more bad press for a CEO who keeps overshadowing his product."