Nick Bell Out as Snapchat Head of Content: Read His Memo to Staff

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Nick Bell is leaving Snapchat. 

The company's vp content sent a memo to staff on Monday announcing that he is departing from the company after five years running its media and entertainment efforts.

"After nearly five years and a once in a lifetime ride, I have let Evan know that I am leaving Snap to take some time off to recharge before deciding on my next adventure," he wrote in the memo.

Bell joined the company during its early days to help build out the Discover platform where it posts professionally produced content from editorial partners and original shows from Hollywood producers. Under his leadership, Snapchat developed its vertical video format and closed ecosystem where it struck deals with media and entertainment companies to produce original content for its platform. 

With Bell's departure, newly appointed chief strategy officer Jared Grusd will lead the content team. Grusd, who most recently served as CEO of HuffPost, was appointed to replace Imran Khan at the end of October. Sean Mills, head of original content, and David Brinker, head of content business and corporate development, will continue in their roles.

"We are so grateful for Nick and everything he has built at Snap. It has been an incredible journey that began with our vision for what content could be on mobile," Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said in a statement. "Today, more people are watching more premium content on Snap than ever before, and we couldn’t be more excited about the momentum we are seeing with Snap Originals. We will miss Nick, and we wish him all the best."

Bells departure comes amid turnover among several of Spiegel's top lieutenants, including Khan who oversaw Snap's 2017 IPO. The newly public company has struggled to continue to grow following a poorly received redesign and amid increased competition from Facebook-owned Instagram. During the third quarter this year, Snap lost 2 million daily active users. Snap's stock was trading down more than 2 percent midday on Monday, bringing the share price to around $6.60. The stock hit a record low on Oct. 29 when it closed at $5.99.

Bell was working at News Corp. when he helped arrange a meeting between Spiegel and Rupert Murdoch, which later led to a job at Snapchat. The executive got his start in media at the age of 16 when he sold his first company, Teenfront.com. 

His full memo is below:

Subject: Personal Update 

After nearly 5 years and a once in a lifetime ride, I have let Evan know that I am leaving Snap to take some time off to recharge before deciding on my next adventure. 

From my very first meeting with Evan, I knew this was going to be an extraordinary journey. Thanks to the hard work of our amazing team, we have built Discover into a world-leading media platform. We have established vertical video as the industry standard, built hugely successful partnerships with some of the world’s best media companies and storytellers, produced incredible stories, launched a fantastic slate of Original Shows and built a robust advertising business. This experience has been incredibly rewarding and an absolute blast. I leave now with amazing memories, many lifelong friendships, and a huge amount of excitement for the future of Snap. 

Although I am announcing this news today, I will be transitioning out of the role between now and the end of the year. I am so proud of all that we have achieved together at Snap, and most proud of the team I leave behind to continue to execute against the vision. 

Thank you,

Nick


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