Shareholders sue top Pinterest executives over ‘toxic’ work culture

Shareholders of the photo-sharing social media platform Pinterest have sued top executives of the company, including CEO Ben Silbermann, for allegedly nurturing a toxic work culture.

According to the lawsuit, the workplace discrimination has badly hurt the company’s reputation, leading to a user boycott and financial harm, reports The Verge.

The CEO “repeatedly placed himself before the Company, surrounding himself with yes-men and marginalizing women who dared to challenge Pinterest’s White, male leadership clique,” the complaint read.

“The company ignored or silenced employees who tried to speak out”.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, which oversees $8.5 billion in public assets.

The lawsuit claimed that Pinterest executives and board members breached their fiduciary duty by failing to respond to allegations of workplace discrimination.

“Even when presented with widespread claims of race and gender discrimination at Pinterest, the (executives and board members) did nothing to address this misconduct,” it further read.

The lawsuit further claimed that Pinterest executives also violated securities law.

A company spokesperson was quoted as saying that “Pinterest’s leadership and Board take their fiduciary duties seriously and are committed to continuing our efforts to help ensure that Pinterest is a place where all of our employees feel included and supported”.

“We believe the actions we’ve initiated as well as the ongoing independent review regarding our culture, policies, and practices will help us achieve our goal of building a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for everyone”.

Pinterest has reached 442 million global Monthly Active Users (MAUs), a 37 per cent increase (year over year).

The Q3 revenue grew 58 per cent to $443 million while net loss was $94 million for Q3, the company said in a statement in October. Average revenue per user was up 15 per cent to $1.03.

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