Nick Bell, the executive who built Snapchat’s Discover media platform and struck partnerships with some of the world’s biggest media companies, is leaving Snap.
The executive announced this morning that he is leaving Snap after five years, saying he plans to take time to “recharge.” The former News Corp. executive played a pivotal role in the evolution of Snap, helping to strike partnerships with media companies eager to use the platform tor each its youthful audience, establishing vertical video as the de facto standard for mobile video and launched a slate of original programming on Snapchat.
“This experience has been incredibly rewarding and an absolute blast,” Bell said. “I leave now with amazing memories, many lifelong friendships, and a huge amount of excitement for the future of Snap.”
Cheddar reported that Bell’s departure is part of a planned reorganization of Snap’s Content team, which is now under the leadership of newly-installed chief strategy officer, Jared Grusd. He’ll work with the head of original content, Sean Mills, and David Brinker, who runs business development for the content division, to ensure a smooth transition. Others cast Bell’s departure as the right moment for the entrepreneurial executive, sold his first company, Teenfront.com, at the age of 16, to try something new.
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Snapchat has seen a wave of executive departures as it struggles to hold on to users. Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan will leave the social-media company in September. The company’s former head of engineering, Tim Sehn, left in December; its head of product, Tom Conrad, was replaced in March; and Snap brought in a new chief financial officer, Tim Stone, in May.
WarnerMedia veteran Kristen O’Hara left her high-profile job as chief marketing officer of global media this summer for a new opportunity at Snapchat parent Snap. She departed scarcely two months later, after CEO Evan Spiegel gave her a major promotion to become the company’s new chief business officer — then rescinded the offer two days later, Bloomberg reported. Instead, Spiegel handed the job to Jeremi Gorman, who oversaw ad sales at Amazon.com.
The executive turnover comes as the ephemeral messaging company struggles to regain its momentum. Snap reported it lost 2 million daily active users in its third quarter, and promised changes ahead to the company’s Android app (codenamed “Mushroom”). But the executives offered few specifics about how they plan to reverse declining user numbers.
Spiegel issued a statement today, acknowledging Bell’s contributions to the company.
“Today, more people are watching more premium content on Snap than ever before, and we couldn’t be more excited about the momentum we are seeing with Snap Originals,” Spiegel said. “We will miss Nick, and we wish him all the best.”
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