- Snapchat parent company Snap hired Jeremi Gorman away from Amazon, where she was head of global advertising sales, and is making her chief business officer to oversee global business solutions, online sales, customer operations and business marketing, per CNBC. The image-messaging company also hired former Huffington Post CEO Jared Grusd as chief strategy officer to oversee content, global strategy, partnership and corporate development. The pair of roles will replace the job previously held by Imran Khan, who announced he was leaving the company in September.
- Snap CEO Evan Spiegel announced the new hires in a note to employees on Wednesday. The company also added Jean Gonié, previously director of public policy at Amazon, as director of EU policy, and Alston Cheek, previously partnerships manager at Apple, as director of platform partnerships, Variety reported.
- In addition, Snap hired Steen Strand as director of product design, Ted Suh as head of music partnerships and Kristin Southey as VP of investor relations, according to Variety. The hires come just before Snap releases its quarterly results today.
Jeremi Gorman is joining Snap from Amazon, where she helped turn the e-tailer into an advertising giant. The hire could be a sign that Snapchat is looking to ramp up its advertising sales. Amazon is one the few companies that has the scale and financial strength to take on the "duopoly" of Google and Facebook, and eMarketer expects Amazon will generate $4.61 billion in U.S. ad revenue this year, higher than the $2.89 billion the researcher previously forecast in March.
Snap's new hires help to fill its depleted executive ranks as the company seeks to expand its user base and turn a profit amid intense competition from social media rivals like Facebook in digital advertising. Snapchat's user base declined 1.6% to 188 million in Q2 2018 from the prior quarter after the company redesigned its app and frustrated many users. However, Snap's losses narrowed by 20% to $353 million as revenue rose 44% from a year earlier to $262.3 million amid a company shift to programmatic ad sales and expanded efforts to boost social commerce. Michael Nathanson, an analyst with MoffettNathanson, told Reuters that Snap was still "woefully short" of profit goals and estimated the company will lose more than $1.5 billion next year.
Snapchat's key advantage is its popularity among teens, setting the stage for future growth as Generation Z grows into adulthood. Almost half (46%) of U.S. teens said Snapchat was their favorite social media platform, compared with 32% for Instagram, per an annual survey by Piper Jaffray. Snap this month introduced 12 original shows to boost Snapchat's appeal among younger audiences who spend less time watching TV, following Instagram's announcement of a partnership with Meredith to develop 10 original series for IGTV, the video platform that the Facebook-owned app debuted last summer.