Snap Shares Fall as Chief Strategy Officer Resigns

September 10, 2018

By Alex Heath and Kavitha Shastry

Snap Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan, one of the company's top-paid executives and a central figure in its high-profile IPO last year, is stepping down.

In a statement filed with the SEC Monday, Snap said Khan is pursuing other opportunities. A person familiar with the matter told Cheddar that he's planning to start his own tech investment firm.

Khan will continue to serve in his role on an interim basis and help recruit a replacement Chief Business Officer, he said in an internal memo sent to Snap employees on Monday that was obtained by Cheddar. His departure is not the result of any disagreement with the company, according to Snap's filing with the SEC.

"There is never a perfect time to say goodbye, but we have a stellar leadership team in place to guide Snap through the next chapter," Khan said in a statement.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel added, “Imran has been a great partner building our business. We appreciate all of his hard work and wish him the best."

Formerly a banker at Credit Suisse, Khan joined Snapchat in early 2015 to help build its ad business and get the company ready for its public offering. He oversaw all business functions and was deeply involved in Snap's switch from traditional ad sales to making the bulk of its revenue through programmatic advertising.

While CEO Spiegel prefers to be closely involved with Snapchat's product development, Khan championed the app's nascent ad formats like sponsored geofilters and augmented reality lenses. Aside from Spiegel, he was one of a select few executives who represented Snap publicly at industry events.

Between Khan's start and Snap's March 2017 IPO, the company grew daily active users from 80 million to about 160 million. Quarterly revenue grew from about $4 million to more than $160 million.

But Snap has struggled amid competition from Facebook and Instagram, shedding three million users in its latest quarter. The company has also suffered a string of executive departures since its public offering, including Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel, SVP of Engineering, Chief Security Officer, VP of Sales, VP of Product, VP of Hardware, and VP of monetization engineering.

Shares marked their seventh day of losses in eight trading days Monday and are trading near all-time lows below the $10 mark. That's a loss of more than 40 percent from its $17 IPO price.

Khan received roughly $145 million in stock for signing on at Snap in 2015. Last year he earned total compensation of more than $100 million, second at the company only to Spiegel.

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