Snap Inc. really can’t catch a break. After news broke earlier this week that it was laying off two dozen of its employees, a leaked memo has surfaced that doesn’t exactly paint the company in a favorable light. And as if yet another leak wasn’t bad enough, here’s the real kicker: the leaked memo was actually about preventing leaks.
In it, Snap goes on to assert that it has a zero-tolerance policy on information leaks, and that any employee caught leaking information will lose their job and even potentially face fines or jail time. Of course, leaking company information per se isn’t strictly a crime, though insider trading certainly is, and any employees involved could certainly end up behind bars.
In any case, the memo can’t be good for the makers of Snapchat. Not only does it reveal that the company has to resort to threats to attempt to stem the unending flow of bad news, it also doesn’t do anything to improve Snap’s standing on Wall Street. And unfortunately for it, these kinds of stories don’t disappear after 24 hours.
The memo is transcribed in full below:
As we get ready to report our first annual results as a public company, I wanted to remind each of you of the importance of keeping Snap Inc. information confidential.
We have a culture of sharing information across many teams. That includes metrics, financial results, new products and features, potential partnerships, and strategies. We do this to help us do our jobs better, which in turn makes Snap better.
But this information carries a heavy responsibility. Its premature disclosure can significantly harm our business, including our ability to compete. Because we are a public company, the information also affects how millions of shares of our stock trade every day. We therefore take great care to manage our public disclosures.
As a result, all employees must keep our information strictly confidential until disclosed by Snap. We have a zero-tolerance policy for those who leak Snap Inc. confidential information. This applies to outright leaks and any informal “off the record” conversations with reporters, as well as any confidential information you let slip to people who are not authorized to know that information.
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.
To avoid any ambiguity: If you have Snap Inc. confidential information, do not share it outside of Snap, period. If you are contacted by any news source asking for comment on Snap, the only acceptable response is “no comment.” If you are contacted by a news source, you should immediately tell your manager or notify Communications at [email protected] If you’ve accidentally disclosed Snap Inc. confidential information, tell your manager immediately.
If you don’t know whether something can be disclosed, the best strategy is to err on the side of caution and not disclose. We have a number of policies and training materials to help educate you. If you don’t know whether something is OK to disclose, just ask.
Thank you again for your commitment to Snap Inc. I trust that you will take these matters as seriously as we do.