Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said it was a "wake-up call" when a former employee sent an internal letter that popped the company's bro-like culture.
Spiegel told reporter Kara Swisher on Tuesday that his company hired sparsely clothed women at a party served as sacrifices last year as a victim and described the disaster as "frustrating, to say the least".
"I think people will make mistakes," Spiegel said of the incident. "I was frustrated to see the people dressed as deer for a holiday party … because it's weird too."
Spiegel said the company actually asked the women to go and said it was due to "someone in our event team".
"She made a mistake and life goes on," he said, adding that it was important for people to make mistakes and work and learn from them. He added that Snap has a younger workforce and therefore the company should expect mistakes. Earlier Tuesday, Cheddar reported that Snap Engineer Shannon Lubetich sent an email to 1,000 colleagues on their last day in the company, complaining of bias and a "pervasive sexist mood."
Cheddar also reported that Snap had hired scantily dressed women to disguise themselves as deer at the Santa Monica company's summer party last year. The deer costume was a reference to one of Snap's best-known filters, which overlays the animal's facial features on the user's face.
"This letter was a really good wake up call for us," Spiegel said. "Of course we constantly think about it like we do have the culture we want and how we can strengthen the values we want. "
"We are even more concerned about this because the company is evidently growing so fast, and to master this challenge of the fast-growing enterprise of hiring people quickly and strengthening culture and values really challenging."  Spiegel said the company hired external consultants last year to identify problems in the company, conducted an internal employee feedback survey and changed the advertising process. Lubetich had drawn attention to the company's lack of diversity, especially in senior management.
Spiegel added that aspects of the scandal showed that the company's internal HR processes worked. In one case, Lubetich said she had seen former Senior Vice President of Engineering Tim Sehn make a joke penis joke and complain about it to HR.
"HR had a conversation with him and said [it wasn’t] appropriate," Spiegel said. "After all, this is the sign of the culture we want, where people identify and talk about problems."
You can see the full interview with Evan Spiegel here: