Snap Inc., which has seen its stock crater amid the departure of several key executives and questions about its strategic direction, has brought in media and digital veteran Julie Henderson to steer communications.
Henderson joins Snap as Chief Communications Officer from her longtime post running communications for 21st Century Fox, which is on the verge of selling most of itself to Disney. Hope Hicks, who worked for Donald Trump before and after he became president, joined Fox last summer in a senior communications role as it prepares to narrow its focus to Fox News and broadcast assets.
Reporting to CEO Evan Spiegel, Henderson will officially assume her role at Snap after the formal close of the $71.3 billion Fox-Disney deal, which is expected in the coming weeks.
“Julie will be an outstanding addition to our team,” Spiegel said. “She brings incredible experience, talent, and integrity, as well as the respect of the tech, media and finance communities. We are excited to have Julie play a key leadership role in the next chapter of the Snap story.”
Henderson will replace Mary Ritti, who had been Snap’s VP of Communications. Ritti, who joined Snap in 2013, announced her decision to leave the company last summer.
“We could not have built Snap without her dedication to our community and mission,” Spiegel said of Ritti.
Snap shares are trading below $6, less than one-quarter of their level after the company’s IPO in March 2017. The company has seen the exodus of several top executives as it grapples with ongoing negative feedback after redesigning the Snapchat app a year ago as well as failing to fix glitches in the Android version. It reported 186 million daily active users as of September, a number that has stagnated over the past few quarters. Nevertheless, it continues to fortify ties with media companies like NBCUniversal, Viacom and CBS, which prize its young, engaged audience.
“The Snap team’s deep connection with its global community and their passion for creating innovative products made this an irresistible opportunity,” Henderson said. “As the company enters its next phase of development, its creativity and vision set the stage to grow Snap’s business and impact. I’m excited to work with Evan and my new colleagues to further their vision and belief in the power of visual communications.”