Thread regarding Splunk Inc. layoffs

San Francisco Tech Company Sued over ‘Frat Boy Culture,’ S-xual Harassment Claims

This will be getting communicated to Cisco HR. The chickens have come home to roost.

https://sfstandard.com/2023/10/13/san-francisco-tech-splunk-sued-s-xual-harassment/

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Post ID: @OP+1p5owayN

30 replies (most recent on top)

I was part of the anti-demotion lawsuit it was absolute trash by people trying to get a free ride. Most of this other stuff feels legit. But don’t loop in that ambulance chasing lawsuit into this. It just dilutes your position on the harassment.

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Post ID: @Homq+1p5owayN

OP here. I had submitted my name and background on a web form to the lawyer for the case. Not thinking anything would come of it. My phone rang today and I spoke to him. I provided him with several names of the "gentlemen" who harassed/bullied/discriminated against people on my team. He said that the case is growing and people are finally coming forward to speak. He said it seems that a number of people were just abused by many managers there. I was happy to help and then contacted some former Splunkers to tell them he would listen to them. Karma is real and these people deserve to be outed.

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Post ID: @idti+1p5owayN

OP here. Thanks to all who have shared. It makes me realizing leaving that dump was the best thing I’ve ever done. Man. It all makes sense now. And it seems like that attitude to just accept behavior from so many terrible people really trickled down. Also read recently they’re starting to fire instead of layoff. Man that’s just brutal.

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Post ID: @gerv+1p5owayN

Besides the f-c**** between 5 to 10 years ago when I worked there they were lying to customers, auditors, and to regulators about their Sarbanes Oxley controls as a publicly traded company. That alone is major fraud and should have landed then CEO Doug Merritt and David Conte and rest of execs into prison. Then years later Doug Merritt and new CFO and entire board was sued for securities fraud and insider trading and these lawsuits are currently in the courts and not resolved.

Don't have s#x there are lots of deadly diseases out there than can destroy your life.

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Post ID: @fkrz+1p5owayN

Instead of putting their noses to the grind stone and working hard to serve and be fierce. They instead are only concerned about their s€xual pleasures.

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Post ID: @exbz+1p5owayN

https://sfstandard.com/2023/10/25/carta-san-francisco-lawsuits-insider-fortune-reports/

This is another Sk--k right here. The same lawyer who represented splunk is now representing Carta that weetch is Lynne Hermle. Watch she'll be the same lawyer sk--k will use for this case. Because of federal law forbidding s-xual harassment ckaims to go into arbitration. They are now suing accusers for defamation.

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BUSINESS
San Francisco Unicorn Startup Carta Hit With Multiple Lawsuits, Exposés
Written by Joshua Bote
Published Oct. 25, 2023 • 6:30am
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Carta’s San Francisco headquarters are located at 333 Bush St. in San Francisco. | Source:Google Street View
Visits to San Francisco’s infamous Gold Club, indecent exposure and NSFW conversations at company events, executives se-----y harassing staff and a toxic boys’ club culture: Those are just some of the allegations brought against Carta, a San Francisco company valued at $8.5 billion late last year.

At least two lawsuits filed in San Francisco Superior Court in the past year, both by women—combined with a series of reports by Fortune and Insider—paint a picture of an unruly corporate culture at the San Francisco tech unicorn.

This month, a lawsuit was filed in San Francisco by Alexandra Rogers, a female ex-employee, who says she was groped at a work happy hour by Carta Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Perry in June 2022. While waiting in line for the bathroom, the suit alleges, Perry “walked by her, slapped the top of her thigh, and grasped it in his hands.“

A couple months later, at a sales dinner, Perry again allegedly grabbed her—placing his hand on her leg twice under the table and st-----g her arm. (At this point, after Rogers got a promotion, Perry was her immediate supervisor, the lawsuit noted.)

Rogers reported both incidents in June 2023, a year after the happy hour incident, hoping for an investigation. Instead, Carta CEO and co-founder Henry Ward allegedly treated Rogers “in an aggressive and demeaning manner during several meetings.” Her manager suggested she apologize to him, while acknowledging that Ward “doesn’t like women with strong personalities.”

READ MORE: Salesforce Sacked Exec on Leave During ‘Traumatic Health Crisis,’ Suit Alleges

Rogers was eventually fired “under the pretext of a reduction in force.”

Carta's software helps startups track who owns shares and options and how ownership is diluted in new funding rounds.

Suits and Countersuits
Another lawsuit filed earlier this year by Amanda Sheets, an account executive, alleges she was fired after requesting remote work accommodations for her chronic migraines. Her accommodations were denied and heavily scrutinized, while male employees who requested remote work exemptions received no such scrutiny from management, the suit alleges.

But these lawsuits, at least according to Fortune and Insider, reflect broader issues with Carta’s leadership.

Ward was described in both reports as volatile—demanding loyalty and punishing anyone who brought up concerns about the company’s operations. In addition to at least nine recent executive departures, according to Fortune, at least two former executives who blew the whistle on the company’s culture were sued by the company.

One of those whistleblowers was Jerry Talton, a former chief technical officer at the company. He filed a complaint to Carta’s board of directors alleging widespread misconduct and a lack of accountability at the company, and was fired two months later. Among one of the more sordid things he witnessed, according to another document viewed by Insider, was an individual described as Ward’s right-hand man joking at a team dinner about women’s breasts.

Even Rogers, the employee allegedly harassed by Perry, received a defamation countersuit from the company this month alleging she was laid off after months of subpar performance, capped off by her flubbing a key presentation. The company also called Rogers’ claims “wholly and completely false.”

The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Joshua Bote can be reached at jbote@sfstandard.com

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Post ID: @cwmr+1p5owayN

Happy to see this. I came to splunk after working with some really professional people in the public sector. Worked at a few gov agencies. The attitude of some people I came across at splunk was nothing I had seen. I also wasn’t used to being asked to “fudge” things or minimize one my customer’s 10TB loss occurred cause some switch wasn’t flipped. Splunk is where kids go to make money. I’m an adult and thankful to be done with them. My family couldn’t wait for me to be done.

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Post ID: @amyd+1p5owayN

OP here. Thank you to the last 3 posters for so much info. My Lord. The destroying of data. I am just sitting here in shock. Knowing some of the people that worked there when I was there, also the clown that hired me, I am not surprised in the least bit. He himself was a "just remove that info and the directors will be happy". I would absolutely laugh my butt off Cisco turned around and sued them. It's funny, leaving there was my choice and every day I feel like a better person morally, spiritually, and emotionally for doing so. It sounds like it was a scam company run by liars and abusive people with serious issues.

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Post ID: @9flx+1p5owayN

I already know what they're planning to do. I was at that sleazy place when it was sued for harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and anti-Semitism. The management sent an email saying that a lawsuit has been filed and is now on the Internet. They then called a meeting with the legal team and the company attorney told a bunch of employees in a conference that they are not to keep any data that can be subpoenaed in a lawsuit. Basically telling them to destroy evidence. Yup you heard that correctly.

Sk@ank then hired this weetch L Hermle who is the outside counsel to dismiss the lawsuit because the employees signed a mandatory arbitration agreement which is used to ki-l lawsuits.

https://www.orrick.com/en/People/B/1/0/Lynne-Hermle

But in March 2022 a federal law was enacted banning mandatory arbitration for s-xual harassment and s-xual as--ult. This new law is called the Ending Forced Arbitration of S-xual As--ult and S-xual Harassment Act (EFASASHA). So this case will go forward. Since it's also labor and wage claims I don't believe they can mandate private arbitration. So if Sk@nk was stealing wages then potentially a class action lawsuit on behalf of sales employees who had their money stolen can go forwards. Delicious.

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/labor_law/publications/labor_employment_law_news/fall-2022/new-law-limits-mandatory-arbitration-in-cases-involving-s-xual-as--ult-or-harassment/

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Post ID: @9dfl+1p5owayN

They need to stop thinking about s€x and start doing work period.

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Post ID: @9rwz+1p5owayN

Cisco has to sue them to terminate the agreement thos is what happens when they don't do their due diligence. Expensive nightmare.

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Post ID: @7ued+1p5owayN

Cisco can simply terminate the purchase by accusing them of fraud which is apparent when they lied to the SEC. Once a liar always a liar.

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Post ID: @7qkc+1p5owayN

I was directly involved in cleaning up the mess at Spvnk also known as Skunk. They lied to customers, auditors, and regulators at the SEC about their controls that wasn't in place and that I had to implement them for the first time. They're lazy criminals who need to be fined and imprisoned.

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Post ID: @7kkt+1p5owayN

OP here. Thanks to who shared that link and story. Man. It's SO on point. Splunkers wont say that. They actually have NO clue how far behind the game they are cause they walk around with the trophy they won in 2014. ahhahaha. Their products, people, are NOWHERE near Palo Alto. Not even close to Crowdstrike. As someone who actually wasn't a cult member, I was well aware of the competition there. I would bring up different features PA and CS were working on; my big headed manager would legit just reject it with a "dude, they're nowhere near us..." Ironically, the mgmt at Splunk, most part arent security or s'ware people. many hired from friends of friends of friends. And their acquisitions, man, a joke. While I was there, just cut an acquisition Splunk SIEM was integrating with like fish on a hook. People were just like, "so what do I do?" This write up is just so accurate. And Cisco people dont want Splunkers to even join them. Splunkers are nowhere near Cisco people technically. Man. This is gonna really be bad for Cisco. Splunk ppl wont even get the details in this article. They think Splunk is immune to bad things. And man, bad things are coming. Place was a joke anyway.

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Post ID: @6jwc+1p5owayN

Splunk was a bad bet for Cisco an albatross around its neck.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4641281-cisco-stock-outlook-amid-28b-splunk-deal-rating-downgrade

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Cisco Stock: Outlook Amid $28B Splunk Deal (Rating Downgrade)
Oct. 17, 2023 10:53 AM ETCisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)CRWD, PANW, S, SPLK, ZS5 Comments
Daan Rijnberk profile picture
Daan Rijnberk

  1. 43K Followers

Summary
Cisco Systems' recent financial results were strong, but the planned acquisition of Splunk for $28 billion adds operational and financial risk without adding significant value.
The acquisition brings together two leaders in network security and observability, strengthening Cisco’s competitive position, primarily in observability and AI capabilities.
I am not expecting the Splunk acquisition to turn Cisco's losing market share trend around, as Splunk is also seeing its growth slow meaningfully and is losing share.
While this acquisition could boost growth for Cisco ever so slightly, I am not expecting it to cause a massive growth acceleration as a whole for Cisco.
Cisco's risk-reward profile does not look attractive as the financial and operational risks now outweigh the potential reward. Therefore, I moved my CSCO rating from buy to hold and recommend investors to stay on the sidelines or look for more attractive opportunities in the market.
Hannover Messe Industrial Trade Fair 2023
Alexander Koerner

I move my rating on Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) from buy to hold following its most recent financial results and the recently announced intent to acquire cybersecurity and observability company Splunk Inc. (SPLK) for $28 billion. I believe this acquisition meaningfully increases the operational and financial risk profile while adding little value to Cisco's existing operations, as Splunk is poised to lose market share to cloud-native competitors and reports slowing growth rates. Therefore, I believe the reward no longer outweighs the risks for Cisco stock.

Before we get into the Splunk acquisition, I first want to revisit Cisco's existing business by taking a quick look at its most recent financial performance. I last covered Cisco in February and rated shares a Buy, as I liked the risk-reward profile with shares trading 16% below my price target.

For those unfamiliar with Cisco, it is good to know that the company designs, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-tech products and services. Cisco's product portfolio includes routers, switches, firewalls, wireless access points, cloud-based collaboration tools, etc. However, Cisco is most known for its enterprise networking products, which provide the backbone for many corporate and government organizations around the world.

Over the years, the company has also expanded its product offerings to include cybersecurity solutions, cloud-based services, and software-defined networking solutions, which are the segments that are most important to its growth outlook as the legacy hardware and networking equipment businesses drive very little growth due to market saturation.

In addition to focusing on new markets like cybersecurity to drive growth, Cisco has also been shifting its focus from hardware-based solutions to software and services to adapt to changing customer needs and improve its revenue reliability and customer retention.

FY23 marked a record year for Cisco and fundamentally the business is in good shape
Cisco reported its fiscal Q4 results on August 16 and delivered revenue roughly in line with the consensus, coming in at $15.2 billion, up an excellent 16% YoY. This brings the year's revenue total to $57 billion, up 11% YoY, which really is a very respectable performance, especially when considering the challenging operating environment with IT and hardware spending under pressure. In fact, this is the highest growth rate reported by the company in over a decade.

Cisco Q4 FY23 revenue highlights
Cisco

Furthermore, Cisco continued to see strong customer demand in Q4, as orders were up 30% sequentially, driven by double-digit growth across all end markets. However, we have seen some order weakness during the year, with orders still down 14% YoY from record levels in 2022. Yet, this is no reason for concern, with RPO coming in at $34.9 billion, up 11% YoY. Furthermore, ARR (annual recurring revenue) now stands at $24.3 billion, up 5% YoY with product ARR growth of 10%. This gives the company a strong, reliable revenue stream at any time and increases revenue predictability, lowering the risk profile.

Cisco RPO
Cisco RPO (Cisco)

Moving to the bottom line result, the company reported mixed margins for the full year despite a strong Q4 performance. The Q4 gross margin was up 260 basis points to 65.9%, also driving up the operating margin to 35.4%, up 300 basis points YoY. This shows a very solid margin performance driven by strong top line growth. However, the FY23 margin profile was less impressive in terms of the YoY performance, with an FY23 gross margin of 64.5% and operating margin of 33.5%, both down 10 basis points YoY and sitting right around the 5-year average as margins have shown little improvement since 2016.

Cisco margins over the years
Cisco margins over the years (Macrotrends)

Still, the company's margins are nothing to complain about, as one thing it can do is drive significant cash flows. FY23 marked another record operating cash flow of $19.9 billion, up 50% YoY, driven primarily by strong results, linearity, collections, and the deferral of the Q4 federal tax payment due in Q1 now. As a result of a strong top line and margin performance, EPS was up 16% in FY23 to $3.89.

Overall, the financial results highlight a strong operational performance and very few surprises. Therefore, my investment thesis from February for Cisco itself remains largely intact, and I continue to appreciate management's growth and business improvement efforts. Cisco remains focused on two key aspects to drive long-term growth and value.

First of all, management aims to grow its market share across all categories. While I appreciate this optimistic goal, the company has been losing market share across multiple categories in recent years and will continue to do so. However, where I do see significant potential to gain market share is Networking. In networking, Cisco remains a leader and I do not expect this to change, as highlighted by this Q4 earnings call commentary:

With the release of the calendar Q1 results, we gained over 3 percentage points of market share year-over-year in our three largest networking markets: Campus switching, wireless LAN and SP routing.

However, this market is expected to grow at a meager CAGR of 3.7% through 2030, not representing overly impressive growth. Even if Cisco is able to keep gaining market share, I am not expecting this part of the business to grow at a CAGR of above 5%. Of course, this is still very respectable growth for a very mature operation.

Second, management wants to focus investments on AI, cloud, and cybersecurity, which is something I can get behind. And while I am not bullish on the company's potential in cybersecurity (which I will discuss later on) and cloud AI applications, the company's networking equipment, ASIC design, and scalable fabric for AI position it favorably to indirectly benefit from the AI bo-m through the growing hyperscaler infrastructures.

In June, the company launched a next-generation Silicon One switching ASIC to support large-scale GPU clusters for AI and ML workloads, allowing it to benefit from investments in AI. Furthermore, to date, Cisco has reported orders of over $0.5 billion of AI Ethernet fabrics, indicating strong growth. I believe this exposure to be a good growth driver in the medium term, fueling my mid-single-digit growth outlook.

Finally, through this growth, Cisco should be able to keep driving impressive cash flows, which can be used to reward shareholders through a growing dividend and continued share repurchases, completing the compelling investment thesis. In its fiscal FY23, Cisco returned $10.6 billion to shareholders through 6.3 billion in quarterly cash dividends and 4.3 billion in share repurchases.

Shares now yield a respectable 2.9% on a conservative payout ratio of 40%, indicating the dividend is well covered by the company's cash flows, making it sustainable. This should allow the dividend to grow roughly in line with its sales at mid-single-digits, which I believe is a solid dividend outlook.

However, moving to the essential part of this article, while I like Cisco as a business, especially at current valuation levels, I cannot say the same about its M&A plans and cybersecurity focus. This brings me to the recently announced Splunk acquisition.

Cisco Splunk deal
Back in September, Cisco announced that it intends to acquire Splunk for $28 billion, all in cash. The announcement initially led to a slight drop in Cisco's share price mainly due to concerns over Cisco's ability to integrate Splunk's business into its own. Cisco's M&A track record has so far led to quite a lot of skepticism toward this deal.

Cisco has been very active in M&A over the last decade as highlighted by this list, all in order to boost its growth as its legacy business is very mature and slowly growing. However, all these acquisitions, primarily focused on digital security, have done little good for the company's growth as its revenue growth CAGR of below 2% over the last decade is little to cheer about. Of course, integrating a large existing business into your own will always come with its challenges and risks, which is why shareholders are weighing the risks against the return. So, how does this weigh out?

Well, from a top-down view and looking at both businesses' operations, the deal actually makes a lot of sense and could strengthen both businesses if executed correctly. Splunk is a software platform designed for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated data. It is particularly useful for collecting and indexing large volumes of data from various sources, such as servers, applications, network devices, sensors, and more. The platform's flexibility, scalability, and ability to handle diverse data types have made it popular in various industries, including IT, security, finance, healthcare, and more.

Splunk is commonly used for log and event management, security information and event management (SIEM), and other data analysis and visualization tasks through its Splunk Security and Splunk Observability platforms. Most likely of key interest to Cisco is Splunk's SIEM product, which equips Security Operations Center (SOC) teams with the logging, analytics, and search capabilities they need to effectively respond to cyber threats, which makes Splunk a pronounced player in the cybersecurity space and a great addition to Cisco's existing network security business. As a result, the deal brings together AI and data management capabilities, specifically valuable for cybersecurity.

Furthermore, Splunk's' leading platforms open it up to two fast-growing TAMs in observability and digital security, together amounting to $63 billion. It's these industries Cisco is interested in as it wants to expand its cybersecurity offering, which is why the deal makes a lot of sense.

However, the deal gets more disputable when we look at Splunk's product suite compared to competitors like Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD). I earlier discussed the value and importance of Splunk's SIEM product to Cisco. However, Splunk is facing significant competition from Palo Alto in this space, which arguably has the superior product. XSIAM is Palo Alto's alternative to Splunk's SIEM product, and this leverages AI to rapidly detect and respond to a greater number of threats than was previously possible, practically enabling it to act as an autonomous SOC.

Whereas Palo Alto targeted to deliver $100 million in sales from this product in the first year, it has already reported $200 million in the first three quarters, massively outperforming expectations as the value offered by the platform is quite impressive. Simply put, going by customer reviews, Splunk might start losing market share quite rapidly on this front as it is struggling to compete in terms of technology, decreasing the value of the deal to Cisco.

And it is more than just the SIEM technology where Splunk is having difficulty competing. The company is generally having trouble competing with AI-native cybersecurity competitors like CrowdStrike and Zscaler (ZS), who are rapidly increasing their platform offerings.

Meanwhile, Cisco has been rapidly losing market share in cybersecurity over the last decade. The company has failed to keep up with the competition and is still mainly not cloud-native. Its market share has fallen from mid-teens in 2014 to just 6.9% in the last year. Adding another business facing significant competition and losing market share to relatively new competitors with dominant technology to boost growth and its presence in cybersecurity is then highly questionable, to say the least. Needham analyst Alex Henderson described this perfectly by saying the following:

We see the deal as a merger of two legacy players in a category where new competition is emerging from strong platform Security names such as CrowdStrike and Palo Alto.

As a result, I am not expecting the Splunk acquisition to turn Cisco's losing market share trend around, as Splunk is also seeing its growth slow meaningfully and is losing share to the competition. The likes of CrowdStrike, SentinelOne (S), Palo Alto, and Zscaler are rapidly developing and releasing new security modules offering similar functionalities to Splunk but are simply superior, as highlighted by the meaningfully higher rating CrowdStrike products get from customers. And while Splunk is often praised for its loyal customer base, in the end, I don't expect these customers to stick with Splunk if competitors offer a structurally better platform and greater value. From this standpoint, I believe the deal provides plenty of reasons to doubt its value.

Finally, regarding the financials, I am skeptical. Splunk is expected to deliver revenue of slightly below $4 billion this fiscal year, ending January 2024, meaning it would add around 7% in revenue to Cisco's expected $58 billion. While this might not sound overly meaningful, what is positive is that this 7% is expected to grow meaningfully stronger over the next couple of years, with analysts pointing to a double-digit CAGR through 2026, far above the 2-3% CAGR of Cisco. Furthermore, Splunk's revenue is largely recurring, improving Cisco's financial profile and revenue stability.

However, while this acquisition could boost growth for Cisco ever so slightly (although I have my doubts regarding Splunk's growth outlook amid market share losses and increasing competition), I am not expecting it to cause a massive growth acceleration as a whole for Cisco. Also, the deal is quite impactful on the bottom line financials of Cisco, with Splunk still reporting GAAP operating losses, partly due to significant SBC costs.

On a more positive note, Cisco has reported that it will keep its dividend and buyback program intact, which should somewhat limit shareholder impact. Also, the deal will be paid fully in cash, which means it will not result in any shareholder dilution. Cisco has a strong cash position with over $26 billion, which is almost enough to fully fund the acquisition. The remaining two billion to close the deal will likely be generated by Cisco as the deal is pending. Going by the current numbers and outlook, Cisco should be able to generate free cash flow in access of $10 million before the deal is closed, while dividend obligations only amount to $3.2 billion. This gives the company plenty of cash to maintain its dividend and buyback program while fully paying for the Splunk acquisition without taking on significant amounts of debt or diluting shareholders.

However, the depleting cash position on the balance sheet will impact the company's profitability as it loses a significant amount in interest rate benefits. Combined with the operating losses from Splunk, this creates a downbeat bottom line outlook, potentially decreasing EPS by $0.30. Luckily, management expects Splunk operations to drive positive cash flow after one year and contribute to non-GAAP earnings per share in the second year, which should limit the deal's financial impact.

All things considered, I am struggling to see the real value of the deal today. Cisco is paying 32 times free cash flow for Splunk, only to see its bottom line deteriorate initially. And honestly, while I try to focus on the future and not on the past, Cisco's terrible M&A history is giving me little confidence in the successful and smooth integration of the business, which I do not see adding much to Cisco overall. Yes, it should strengthen its position in cybersecurity temporarily, but Splunk's growth has been slowing for a reason, and in the cybersecurity arena, it is losing to more innovative cloud and AI native competitors like CrowdStrike, Palo Alto, and Zscaler. Cisco might very well have paid a premium for a losing party again, resulting in it still lagging behind competitors. Therefore, with or without this deal, I do not see much potential in the company's cybersecurity future and expect further market share losses in the medium term as Palo Alto, in particular, has a better product offering.

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Post ID: @5pva+1p5owayN

When I was at Skunk I worked with grossly incompetent teams that I needed to carry because they had no experience. While I was working days, nights, and mornings to keep their business running and get money from customers. They weren't doing any work and having s€x.

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Post ID: @5ksg+1p5owayN

OP here....last two posts...Thank you for your honesty. For some time after I left Splunk, I kept blaming myself and thinking it was me. Since there, there is just so much that has come out to say, it's not me, it's you, to Splunk. From the 30m settlement for lyng to shareholders, to the frat boy article, to countless people on social media telling their stories and to the bullies and frat boys and girls being outed; I absolutely love it. There is more to come. I know that for sure. The thing is, it su-ks, cause there are good people caught in between and I am thankful, I met some inside and outside my immediate group. I am not one for BS or being fake, but alas, that happens in every industry. I could be homeless and I would be happy to not be at Splunk. haha

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Post ID: @4efk+1p5owayN

Cisco didn't due its due diligence by turning the place upside down to see all the filth. I've seen their filth and it was mind boggling. The true value of Skunk is 5 pennies

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Post ID: @3xcb+1p5owayN

OP here. I can say I wish I knew that before I went there. I left a pretty good situation at a company I now realize was great compared to splunk. The guys who hired me, they were never in the trenches. All lip service and frauds. I actually was told to take “risks” off the books at one point. God forbid you are honest about something going down hill. I wish I saw the red flags before accepting the job but the 2-3 guys that managed my team/dept; absolutely useless, they knew zero about true blue software implementation and everything that’s been said, they were. It was weird for me cause after actually working on tons of projects at 10-20 companies (private and public) sector, I realize these men are the absolute trash of the industry. Two of the guys, zero technical experience. It makes me laugh now cause they know who they are and their resumes are an absolute joke. The sad thing is they hired people that unfortunately looked up to them but in some ways those people weren’t gonna be much anywhere worth their salt. My conclusion is like you said, “not human”. Definitely not tech. I would love those people that look up to these frat boys to know, this is not tech.

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Post ID: @3cys+1p5owayN

Splunk has a dark and lurid history with harassment, discremation, wrongful termination, and anti-Semitism that has been documented in many lawsuits posted on the Internet. They're incompetent at building secure software and hosting cloud services. I know this as I had to clean up their mess and they're stupid and incompetent. Not human.

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Post ID: @2hfz+1p5owayN

OP here. To the person who provided info to fire those people, you’re a hero. And whomever said it didn’t matter race/s-x/etc, people were trash humans, you were spot on. I was hired by a trash human. I left but man. Spot on with the comments. It’s just amazing to me that people act like this. I can’t lie. I’m ashamed to have splunk on my resume. No other company.z just splunk.

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Post ID: @1dfb+1p5owayN

In 2019 employees filed a lawsuit for harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and anti-Semitism. Because of that lawsuit the Chief Information Security Officer, Sr Director of Security, Chief Digital Office, and Chief Human Resources Officer were all fired.

I know because I provided information to then CEO Doug Merritt to fire them and he did.

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Post ID: @1kle+1p5owayN

They're both gonna be taken down hard. Man. Hopefully this gives other people the strength to speak up. Splunk is a S-hole.

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Post ID: @btt+1p5owayN

Here's the thing: NEVER GO TO HR FOR ANYTHING EXCEPT FOR BENEFITS INFORMATION. They always side with the company, anyone in the same position, needs to gather their information and reach out to an employment attorney BEFORE YOUR GET FIRED so you can negotiate a severance.

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Post ID: @lnh+1p5owayN

Worked for splunk from 2018-2021. Absolutely the worst place I have ever worked. Some of the most horrid people I have ever worked with. They dont belong in tech. it became down right funy how much high school BS went on there. at conf this stuff was rampant. csco gonna drop the axe on 99% of the people at splunk. thanks to OP for sharing. happy to see them finally gettijgn smacked by karma closed fist

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Post ID: @bkn+1p5owayN

As an ex employee who have seen employees sue Splunk. Splunk has a mandatory arbitration agreement that all hires sign with a two week opt out after you sign. Splunk uses Orrick a lawfirm and Lynne Hermle the Orrick lawyer that represented Kleiner Perkins against Ellen Pao to fight this lawsuit. She was used by Splunk to squash all employee lawsuits based on them having signed the mandatory arbitration agreement.

But there is a catch. He accuses a supervisor of se-----y harassing him and of s-xual as--ult. The federal law has put in place a few years ago a staute that all s-xual harassment lawsuits cannot go to private arbitration but to a civil court.

He has a good chance!!!

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Post ID: @ono+1p5owayN

San Francisco Tech Company Sued over ‘Frat Boy Culture,’ S-xual Harassment Claims

A senior manager at the San Francisco cybersecurity software company Splunk alleges that he was fired after raising the alarm about the company’s “frat boy culture,” including s-xual harassment and pay issues.

Attorneys for Robert Christian are suing Splunk for s-xual harassment, retaliation, breach of contract and unlawful business practices in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court.

Christian, a former senior sales engineer manager at Splunk, is demanding damages for emotional distress, economic damages and civil penalties, among other fees.

“We are proud to represent Robert Christian who is calling out Splunk for its frat boy culture that breaks its promises to its mission-critical salesforce,” Young Park, one of the attorneys representing Christian, wrote in a statement to The Standard.

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The lawsuit against Splunk was filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court. | Source: Jason Henry for The Standard

Christian claims a newly hired female supervisor grabbed his cr---h, slapped his bottom and made “crass and provocative comments” about him, including comments about his genitals while drinking at an off-site meeting in Plano, Texas, in April 2022. Other supervisors witnessed this conduct, the suit asserts.

At a company meeting in Las Vegas two months later, the same supervisor “became inebriated and very flirty” with Christian and other people at the meeting, the suit states.

“When Mr. Christian tried to stay away,” the suit reads, “…she became angry and hurled a series of abusive statements toward him.” Other workers complained about her conduct, according to the suit.

The lawsuit further alleges that Christian, a 13-year employee up until his termination, became “a target for abuse and retaliation” by executives after complaining about company changes to salespeople’s compensation structure around the time of the Plano incident.

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In June 2022, Adnan Hindi, a vice president at the company, allegedly asked Christian’s manager to put him on a performance improvement plan, or PIP, and she refused. Hindi also allegedly met with Christian around this time and told him he was trying to create a case against him at the company. Around this time, Christian’s concerns about retaliation against him saw Splunk’s human resources department open an investigation based on his complaints.

But the “glacier speed” investigation meant that little had been done to resolve Christian’s issues. By February 2023, Hindi allegedly “led an initiative” to sabotage Christian’s career, the lawsuit alleges. Christian’s team, including his direct report, were allegedly transferred away from him. His supervisor was also allegedly terminated, in part, for not putting him on a performance plan.

The new supervisor assigned to him was the same individual who allegedly se-----y harassed him in Las Vegas and Plano. And at the 2023 Vegas company meeting, she “began flirting … and stated that they should collaborate together for an upcoming presentation in one of their hotel rooms.”

After rejecting her advances, she began retaliating against Christian shortly after by criticizing his work in emails, Zoom calls and Slack messages, the suit says. He was then allegedly denied a chance to apply for a director-level position. Then she allegedly tried to set Christian up on a “trumped-up coaching plan” intended to set him up for failure.

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The final blow: Christian followed up on the HR investigation after over one year. He heard back on Aug. 8, 2023 from a staffer who said that “she was unable to corroborate” any of his claims. A day later, he was fired from Splunk.

A Splunk spokesperson declined to comment to The Standard, citing pending litigation. Silicon Valley telecommunications stalwart Cisco announced in September that it would buy Splunk in a massive $28 billion cash deal, the largest deal ever made by the longtime tech company.

Joshua Bote can be reached at jbote@sfstandard.com

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