Snapchat parent Snap (SNAP 0.65%) is reportedly about to lose yet another high-level executive. This time around, we're talking about Tom Conrad, who currently serves as Snap's VP of product. Conrad joined Snap back in March 2016, after spending a decade at Pandora, where he was the music-streaming company's chief technology officer. The executive is planning on leaving Snap in March, likely after some equity vests after two years of service.
Conrad is reportedly leaving the tech industry altogether and wants to explore other sectors "closer to art," with one of his direct reports taking over his responsibilities. The departure was first reported by TechCrunch.
A bad combo
The news comes as Snap is in the midst of trying to roll out its biggest app redesign to date, which carries substantial risk to the business. That's especially true since many parts of Snapchat outside of the core photo/video messaging feature suffer from engagement problems, including the all-important Discover section.
Just a few months ago, Snap disclosed that its engineering chief Tim Sehn was also resigning. Sehn notified the company that he was stepping down on the same day that Snap reported dismal third-quarter earnings results. Losing a product exec shortly after losing an engineering exec is a terrible combination that threatens to create even more turbulence while Snap is revamping its core product.
Early impressions from users that have received the new version are not good, with an overwhelming 83% of reviews being negative. As hard as the older version was to use, the new version is somehow even harder to use.
But wait, there's more!
Snap also restructured its hardware team in September after Spectacles flopped. Business Insider reported last summer that the company also lost three other executives just five months after the IPO, including its head of human resources, vice president of security, and general counsel. Another senior HR exec bailed in November, just five months after joining the Snapchat operator, according to The Information. If anything, the pace of executive departures appears to be accelerating, which doesn't inspire a lot of investor confidence.
All the while, Snap is also laying off other employees across other parts of the business, with at least three rounds of cuts since September after Snap overshot with hiring. The company's head count had quadrupled from the end of 2015 to mid-2017.
Snap is already in turnaround mode, and its prospects aren't going to look good if executives continue to abandon ship.