Snap's Security Chief Fired Over Secret Relationship With Outside Consultant

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January 18, 2019
Updated 1mo ago

By Alex Heath

Snap’s global security chief has been fired after an internal investigation found that he had an undisclosed relationship with a woman from a third-party consulting firm that he paid a sizable, six-figure amount of money to on behalf of Snap, according to people familiar with the matter.

Francis Racioppi, whom Snap ($SNAP) hired to be its Director of Global Security in July 2017, was fired recently after a multi-month investigation found that one of his subordinates, Corey Webeck, attempted to help cover up the scandal, the people said. Webeck was also fired, these people said.

Both men didn’t respond to requests for comment. Snap declined to comment for this story.

The firing of Racioppi also led to the sudden departure of Jason Halbert, Snap’s controversial VP of People and Global Security, who announced internally that he was leaving the company a few days ago. Cheddar has learned that Halbert, whom Racioppi reported to, was asked to leave following the investigation into Racioppi’s secret relationship with the outside consultant. Business Insider first reported the news of Halbert's departure.

The departures of Racioppi and Halbert are the latest in a long string of executive departures at embattled Snap. Earlier this week, Snap announced that its CFO Tim Stone was resigning after eight months on the job. Cheddar later reported that Stone clashed with CEO Spiegel and wanted the top business job of chief operating officer. Snap's stock is trading more than 70% below its highs from when the company went public in early 2017.

Snap's revolving door of executives has raised concern on Wall Street about its ability to revive Snapchat's slumping user growth and navigate increased competition from the likes of Facebook. CEO Spiegel wants the company to achieve profitability in 2019, an ambitious goal that investors have questioned.

The latest departures of Racioppi and Halbert, who together oversaw Snap's physical security efforts globally, mark the end of a contentious tenure for Halbert specifically.

During his nearly four years at Snap, Halbert was the subject of multiple HR complaints and at least one external investigation for comments The Information earlier reported he made about topics like masturbation, his war escapades as an Army veteran, and being hunted by drug dealers in Mexico. He couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on Friday.

An early confidant of Evan Spiegel, Halbert was first hired to be Director of Special Projects in 2015 after helping defend Spiegel in an early lawsuit against Snapchat's ousted third cofounder, Reggie Brown.

Halbert then quickly assumed responsibility for all of Snap's human resources, recruiting, and physical security efforts. He remained at the company even after Snap hired outside counsel in 2017 to investigate employee complaints about his behavior. He wasn’t fired, in part, because the investigation found that his behavior was not illegal, according to people familiar with the situation.