Heavy drinking, sex tapes, and a pyramid scheme: Yelp insiders speak out about the company’s high-pressure sales culture

  • Yelp’s sales team has a hard-partying, high-pressure corporate culture that features sometimes-problematic behavior, insiders said.
  • Business Insider spoke to 21 current or former Yelp employees about the company’s sales practices and culture.
  • Some sources said they felt pressure from their managers to interact with sexually inappropriate customers.
  • Some Yelp employees have been accused of defrauding their employer, and others were embroiled in a “pyramid scheme.”
  • Illicit sex tapes have also circulated among employees, and workers have been fired for inappropriate behavior.

A female Yelp employee was on the phone with a small business owner, making a sales pitch for Yelp’s advertising services, when the man on the other end of the line announced that he planned to masturbate while thinking of her.

Her manager urged her to continue with the sales pitch.

The crude behavior was all the more reason for the saleswoman to take the business owner’s money, she recalled her manager saying — “because he’s gross.” Multiple other Yelp insiders also said they either felt pressure to interact with sexually inappropriate business owners or witnessed other reps doing so. (Earlier this summer, Yelp announced a plan to blacklist abusive businesses after years of reps experiencing racist and sexist abuse.)

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