Snap Inc.’s (SNAP) has confirmed that another key employee is set to leave the company, just weeks after its newly redesigned app tasked with recapturing disengaged users began rolling out.
VP of Product Tom Conrad told TechCrunch that he plans to leave the industry and his current role at Snap in March. The news will come as a big blow to the disappearing message company as Conrad is believed to be one of the few executives that CEO Evan Spiegel trusted to reinvigorate interest in Snapchat’s underperforming app.
“It’s time for me to put my energy outside of tech, into music, food, photography and things closer to art than entrepreneurship,” Conrad told TechCrunch. “It’s easy to put these things off forever but I didn’t want to wake up 10 years from now and not have explored these other passions of mine.”
Snap confirmed that Conrad, who joined the Los Angeles, California-based company in March 2016 after making a name for himself building a popular, easy-to-use app at music streaming service Pandora, will be replaced by Jacob Andreou, Snap’s current director of growth.
Conrad’s surprising departure comes at a difficult time for Snap. Falling revenues and sluggish user growth have seen the company’s share price plummet since it first went public in March 2017.
Earlier this month, data covering a wide range of the app’s features from the end of April to mid-September 2017 was leaked and published by The Daily Beast. The figures showed that the company’s most monetizable features, such as Stories and Snap Maps, have attracted little interest from users. (See also: Snap's Leaked Metrics Contain Good and Bad News.)
In November, Snap announced plans to revamp its app in order to make it easier to use and more appealing to a broader audience. CEO Spiegel said the new version will feature a simpler interface and revamped feed that focuses on friends and what people are currently watching. (See also: Snapchat's New Look Inspired By Facebook, Twitter.)
Around the same time, engineering chief Tim Sehn and “Our Stories” feature designer Chloe Drimal, two of Snapchat’s first 20 employees, left the company in quick succession. Like Conrad, Sehn and Drimal were both described as influential figures.
Snap’s overhauled interface has so far attracted mainly negative reviews. According to TechCrunch, 83 percent of the first wave of user reviews gave the new app a rating of one or two stars.
Snap currently has a market capitalization of $17.39 billion. When it floated in March 2017, the company was valued at $24 billion.