Business Insider/Ed Maggio
- Badoo CEO Andrey Andreev announced the company is launching an independent investigation into its workplace culture after an explosive report by Forbes.
- Forbes spoke to 13 former employees who described naked cocaine-fueled parties, software updates named after porn stars, and inappropriate remarks made by Andreev.
- "I am truly shocked and saddened by the allegations detailed in the Forbes article," said Andreev in a statement emailed to Business Insider.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Dating-app tycoon Andrey Andreev has announced he’s launching an independent investigation into his company Badoo after a Forbes report described a sordid, sexist culture at the company.
The report, published Monday, featured interviews with 13 former Badoo employees. They recalled naked, cocaine-fueled parties, software updates named after porn-stars, and a video which circulated internally of an employee receiving oral sex from a prostitute.
The report also said Andreev made inappropriate remarks about a "fat" female job candidate and making Badoo’s user base more "white." Andreev denied both allegations to Forbes. Many of the lurid details stemmed from 2010 to 2012, when the company was experiencing rapid growth.
In Badoo’s initial response to the Forbes report, a spokesman criticised the "reckless reporting." Forbes said it "100 percent" stood by the story, which was written by reporter Angel Au-Yeung.
But a fresh statement, sent to Business Insider from Andreev’s holding company MagicLab on Tuesday, stuck a different tone. Andreev said he has was "shocked and saddened" by the allegations and has brought in HR firm Peninsula Group to conduct an investigation.
Here’s Andreev’s statement in full:
"I am truly shocked and saddened by the allegations detailed in the Forbes article. First, I want to apologise to any Badoo employee who felt disrespected or was made to feel uncomfortable in any way. I am deeply sorry.
"While I maintain that many of the sensational accusations do not reflect the Badoo that so many of us are proud to be a part of today, the accounts from the distant past by those who claim they endured a toxic work environment under my leadership are extremely alarming. I know that I must do more to listen and be a leader in my actions to create a safe and inclusive environment at Badoo.
"The company has hired an independent organisation, Peninsula Group, to formally investigate claims of injustice. Anyone who has information of misconduct within our workplace is encouraged to contact Peninsula Group, which will ensure the protection and confidentiality of all complainants. We commit now to making the findings of the investigation public and implementing the recommendations in our business.
"Now more than ever, it is the responsibility of MagicLab and our brands to champion diversity and inclusion across our culture, our technology, and our communities."
MagicLab’s subsidiaries include both Badoo and Bumble. Andreev was intimately involved in setting up Bumble with founder Whitney Wolfe Herd. Wolfe Herd told Forbes she had never witnessed any misogyny at Badoo, and said of Andreev "he’s become my family and one of my best friends."
In a statement to TechCrunch, she said she was "saddened and sickened to hear that anyone, of any gender, would ever be made to feel marginalized or mistreated in any capacity at their workplace." She said the Badoo investigation is already underway, and that the company is "compiling documentation to expose the factual inaccuracies that exist within the [Forbes] article."
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