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The app — built by up to 50 staff and backed by a network of wealthy individuals from the UK, Italy, and Asia — struggled to retain users.Mismanagement at the top of the company was a major issue, according to nine former employees that Business Insider has spoken to over the last three months.In early July 2015, temperatures were rising in the boardroom on the top floor of a 12-storey office block in Hammersmith, West London.Marco Nardone, the 28-year-old CEO and founder of social media app Fling, had called an emergency meeting the day after his app was removed from the App Store by Apple for being too similar to the notorious Chatroulette platform.The new HQ was roughly 15 minutes walk from his riverside penthouse apartment at Distillery Wharf.
He had the ability to charm investors and would-be employees, but several former staff said they ended up scared of him, citing his unpredictable moods and confrontational approach as major issues.In 2012, Nardone set out to build a social network for students called Unii from an office on Berkeley Street in London.That's the Berkeley Street that adjoins the legendary Berkeley Square in Mayfair, where a nightingale once sang for Vera Lynn. The 28-year-old — who attended the £37,000-a-year Charterhouse boarding school before studying physics at Imperial College London — worked as a trader for Credit Suisse for a year before becoming a technology entrepreneur.When Nardone felt it was ready, he took it upon himself to set it live in the App Store in July without consulting other people in the company."Marco made decisions completely on his own to the point where the tech team didn’t know what he was doing," a former employee said.