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Snap chief strategy officer leaves in latest executive departure


(Reuters) – Snap Inc (SNAP.N), the parent of Snapchat messaging, said on Monday Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan will step down, the latest top-level exit amid pressure to stem user declines following a controversial redesign of the app.

FILE PHOTO – Snap Inc. chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, takes a photograph on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) while waiting for Snap Inc. to post their IPO in New York, U.S., March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The company’s shares were down nearly 2 percent at $9.75 in early trading.

Khan, 41, whose last day has not been determined, was named the chief strategy officer in 2015 and played a key role in taking Snap public in March last year.

A former investment banker with Credit Suisse and a top-paid Snap executive, Khan received stock worth about $145 million at the time of joining, according to media reports.

Snap in August reported its first-ever drop in daily users, largely due to the redesign, but beat quarterly revenue estimates on a shift to primarily selling ads through self-service.

“I think investors would have been accepting of a change in strategy and a more clear articulation of that change, but Mr. Khan’s departure suggests that a more dramatic change in outlook may be coming,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.

Snap’s shares have lost 41.5 percent of their value since the market debut in March last year.

“The company has struggled – commercially and in terms of users and usage – relative to earlier much more optimistic expectations that were widely held,” said Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser.

While user and usage trends are Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel’s responsibility, commercial matters are Khan’s, said Wieser.

Khan’s exit follows the departures of finance head Andrew Vollero and vice president of monetization engineering Stuart Bowers in May. Bowers joined Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).

Khan’s departure was not related to any disagreement with the company and he would continue to serve as chief strategy office for an interim period, Snap said.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila



via Reuters