Snapchat Settles with Ousted Founder Reggie Brown - NBC Southern California
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Snapchat Settles with Ousted Founder Reggie Brown



    When all eyes were on Apple's event Tuesday, Snapchat decided to announce it reached a settlement with its ousted founder Reggie Brown.

    Those familiar with Snapchat, an ephemeral photo-sharing app where photos disappear in seconds, may be familiar with its chief executive Evan Spiegel and chief technical officer Robert Murphy who are both founders, according to Forbes. But the public may not be aware of Frank Reginald Brown IV, also known as Reggie Brown, who was also a founder -- that is, until he sued after claiming Spiegel and Murphy pushed him out of the company.

    Brown was a fellow Stanford student and Kappa Sigma fraternity brother who first came on board as a marketing chief for a new app called Picaboo. From Forbes:

    All sides seem to agree on the genesis: Brown said something to the effect of “I wish there was an app to send disappearing photos.”  . . . According to Brown, Spiegel became “physically animated” and repeatedly called Brown’s remark “a million dollar idea.” (Spiegel acknowledges he was excited, but won’t comment about the “million dollar idea” line.)  . . . The original roles were fairly defined: Murphy as CTO, Brown as chief marketing officer, Spiegel as CEO, honing the idea as part of a design class he was taking.
    Apparently, according to information culled from court documents, after the initial app Picaboo wasn't doing well, he overheard both Spiegel and Murphy talking about getting rid of him. Brown said he would go away if he was given 30 percent equity. That was allegedly denied and Brown was excluded from the company. The app was retooled into Snapchat and eventually became a company valued at $10 billion.
    Brown, who hails from South Carolina, was seeking upwards of $1 billion, according to his lawyer, but the Snapchat press release claimed the details were confidential -- and nor did it refer to Brown as a founder or co-founder.  “We are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter in a manner that is satisfactory to Mr. Brown and the Company," Spiegel said in a statement. "We acknowledge Reggie’s contribution to the creation of Snapchat and appreciate his work in getting the application off the ground.”