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Palantir ex-employee claims frat-house antics at company: Report

Code on computer
Fred Tanneau | AFP | Getty Images

Add a "party culture" problem to the growing list of problems facing Palantir.

A 67-year-old former employee who was dismissed by the notoriously secretive company
claimed in documents obtained by Gizmodo that the tech firm had a frat-house environment. The documents, obtained by the website, said Bernie Cohen claims he had to seek medical attention for two alcohol-related workplace incidents.

Palantir did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment. Cohen could not be located by CNBC for comment. Gizmodo said he did not return multiple requests for comment.

In the documents, Cohen claimed he was injured when an office door slammed on him as a seemingly drunken co-worker rushed to make a shot in a beer pong game, Gizmodo said. He also said he suffered hives when he was the subject of an office prank that involved another apparently drunken co-worker placing dog hair around his work area, according to the website.

The documents suggest an environment seemingly at odds with the highly valued start-up's role in working with sensitive information for clients like the FBI and CIA.

Servers in computer room
Martin Bureau | AFP | Getty Images

The Gizmodo report furthers a recent string of bad news for the data analysis company co-founded by Peter Thiel. According to a recent Buzzfeed story, a team of hackers hired by Palantir to test its security last fall found holes that left customer data exposed. Last month, Buzzfeed reported that Palantir had lost a handful of clients within the past year and a half — Coca-Cola, American Express, and Nasdaq.

Thiel bankrolled the lawsuit by wrestler Hulk Hogan against Gizmodo's parent company, Gawker Media. Gizmodo said it started to work on the story before Thiel's involvement came to light. Hogan won a $140 million judgment in the case.


Palantir has raised more than $2 billion and is valued at $20 billion, making it one of the world's most valuable start-ups, trailing only the likes of Uber and Airbnb.