Verkada Sexual Misconduct, Drug Use And False Claims Exposed By Bloomberg

Published Apr 09, 2021 14:05 PM
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Bloomberg has published an in-depth investigation into Verkada including "sexual misconduct and substance abuse" plus various false claims.

Bloomberg's report is titled "‘Bro Culture’ at Camera Maker Verkada Pushed Profits, Parties":

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Sexual Misconduct

Bloomberg shared an example:

Verkada fired a sales manager after he exposed himself to a female colleague at a late-night, out-of-office gathering involving some members of the sales team

This is consistent with what various sources have told IPVM that company parties (official or otherwise) have led to problems, including the fact that various senior leaders of the company live in apartments upstairs, in the same building, as Verkada's office. This element further leads to what one former employee told Bloomberg, "Verkada gives frat boys a bad name."

And another example:

A Verkada marketing executive said he didn’t want to hire her because she was a mother and wouldn’t be motivated to work on weekends.

Consistent with that, as IPVM reported, Verkada's Director of Sales declared:

that you have to commit everything to, you've got to be on the weekends, calling car dealerships, calling car washes, look for the things that are open on Saturday and Sunday. Without that you will never get to where you want to go, you'll never make your founders happy [emphasis added]

Another example Bloomberg shared was:

Video footage of female employees was passed among male colleagues, who offered graphic comments

Drug Use

Moreover, drug use was reported by Bloomberg:

prone to excessive drinking and occasional drug use

Two former employees said they saw cocaine use in the office.

Sources have told IPVM similar stories about cocaine use including bragging about Verkada employee usage at Verkada events.

Verkada defended itself to Bloomberg saying that such behavior has never been 'commonplace':

Excessive drinking in the office and illicit drug use of any kind — both of which are grounds for termination — have never been commonplace at Verkada

What Verkada means by 'commonplace' is unclear, i.e., is it ok at Verkada if just a minority of Verkada employees are using illicit drugs? Nonetheless, from various conversations with Verkada sources, sexual misconduct and illicit drug use were common themes expressed.

Bloomberg reported speaking to 8 current employees and 15 former employees for this report.

Bloomberg obtained the following Instagram videos:

False Claims

Bloomberg also included 2 examples of false claims, including that:

Verkada had hired the cybersecurity company Okta Inc. to perform a penetration test to gauge the safety of its networks and determined that it couldn’t be breached.

But Okta responded to Bloomberg saying:

It never conducted a pen test on behalf of Verkada. “It is disingenuous to use the Okta brand in this manner,” the spokesman said.

Likewise, Bloomberg says Verkada also marketed itself to potential customers as a “Stanford/MIT company". Both Universities denied this:

Stanford said it wasn’t affiliated with Verkada, and MIT said in a statement, “Companies should not refer to themselves as an ‘MIT company’ simply because of a founder’s alumni status.”

Previous Sexual Harassment

In October 2020, IPVM first exposed serious sexism issues in Verkada - Verkada Faces Sexism, Discrimination, And Cultural Challenges. Weeks later, VICE investigated Verkada's "RawVerkadawgz", a group of 10 salespeople, including sales leaders that sexually harassed their co-workers. The video below explains the initial investigation:

Ethical problems at Verkada are not limited to sexism. For example, last month, IPVM revealed that dozens of Verkada employees were secretly viewing customer video, which Verkada later admitted though they claimed they only used it for support.

Previous False Claims

Moreover, Verkada regularly makes false claims about its products and competitors, such as:

Systematic Culture Problems

Verkada has a systematic culture problem. Whether one wants to describe it as a 'Bro Culture', it's clearly a culture where unethical activity is radically more commonplace than virtually any other technology company IPVM has covered.

Verkada's Chairman Hans Robertson wanted to hire 'sales athletes', who "make lots of money" and make "the culture really fun for sales", as he says in the video below:

He has absolutely achieved this - fun and money for his sales athletes. Unfortunately, his recipe has left numerous women harassed, various laws broken, and an ongoing stream of false claims.

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