Snap hires two executives to take over from departing Khan

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Departing Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan
Departing Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan Credit: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Snap hired two executives to take on the responsibilities of departing Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan, adding technology-industry veterans to help bulk up its advertising business and build partnerships.

Jeremi Gorman, formerly head of global advertising sales at Amazon, will be chief business officer. Jared Grusd, who was chief executive officer of the Huffington Post and previously worked at Spotify and Google, is joining as chief strategy officer, overseeing content, partnerships and corporate development, Snap said Wednesday. The company's shares rose on the news.

The two new hires have a daunting task ahead. Snap still has to work to expand its Snapchat mobile-messaging app internationally and reverse a slowdown in user growth, which was hindered by an unpopular redesign earlier this year. The company also needs to make a compelling case to advertisers that marketing on Snapchat has value on par with Facebook, Snap's much larger social-media rival.

"We have an immense amount of running room to grow globally through the billions of people who do not yet use Snap," CEO Evan Spiegel said in a memo to employees announcing the hires. "I'm proud to have Jeremi and Jared join our team, where they will play an important part in shaping the next chapter for Snap."

Khan said last month that he was leaving the company to get back into investing, after helping Snap establish and build out its business model. In an interview Tuesday, he said his replacement would need to have the strong operational skills to scale the company for the long term.

Shares of Los Angeles-based Snap rose 0.8 percent to $6.88 at 12:36 p.m. in New York after earlier jumping as much as 2.5 percent. They've declined 53 percent this year, and are trading at about 60 percent below their 2017 IPO price.

-- Bloomberg News

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