SO LONG, SNAP
Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
Something is going on at Snap. Snap’s head of strategy Imran Khan is leaving the company to “pursue other opportunities,” according to an SEC filing. He is reportedly leaving to form his own investment firm that will back tech companies.
Khan became Snap’s chief strategy officer in 2015. He was one of the highest paid Snap executives and was instrumental in taking the company public last March. At the time of joining, Khan received stock worth about $145 million, according to Reuters.
Somehow, this company has perfected the “nothing to see here” narrative in the media about its high-level executive departures. As Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier noted, since the IPO, Snap has lost or replaced its chief strategy officer, chief financial officer, head of product, head of engineering, chief counsel, head of sales, and head of hardware. In other words, Khan was one of the last remaining executives from the management team that took the company public.
The filing said, “Mr. Khan has confirmed that this transition is not related to any disagreement with us on any matter relating to our accounting, strategy, management, operations, policies, or practices (financial or otherwise).” In his exit memo to employees, Khan leaves a spectacularly glowing review of Snap, calling it “an amazing company” and that he is “forever grateful” to Spiegel for “his trust & friendship.”
The company’s financial reality is not as bright. Khan’s departure comes at a time when Snap’s stock hit an all-time low following an unpopular redesign, declining daily usage, and an inability to turn a profit. Just last month, Bloomberg published a bizarre profile on Spiegel. After receiving complaints about his dictatorial management style and penchant for secrecy, Spiegel hired a management coach and began holding New Age corporate retreats.
Now, we sit and wait to see who Spiegel hires to replace his long-time No. 2.
STELLAR ACQUISITION: The for-profit subsidiary of the Stellar Development Foundation has purchased Chain, a venture-backed blockchain startup. Chain, had raised more than $40 million from investors including Visa, Nasdaq, and Citi Ventures. Talks of this deal have been ongoing for a very long time, and Fortune first reported on it in June.
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