After years of shying from the spotlight, Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel is ready to raise his profile.
“I really am trying to do a better job of communicating to the world and internally,” he said onstage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment conference on Tuesday.
Spiegel said that although he didn’t regret taking Snap public back in March, “one thing I did underestimate is how much more important communication becomes.”
More communication from Spiegel, whose appearance Tuesday marked the elusive CEO’s first public interview of 2017, might have helped alleviate Snap’s sinking stock amidst mounting competition from Facebook.
Now Spiegel, 27, is focused on learning “how to best communicate the Snap story” to the outside world, he said Tuesday. And he’s realised the need for more communication inside his own company too.
Unlike other tech execs, Spiegel rarely holds all-hands meetings with Snap employees or communicates his broader strategy to the company at large. But around the time of Snap’s initial public offering, he did start a new tradition of conducting written Q&As with employees through a shared Google document, as Business Insider previously reported.
The need for more internal communication was in response to an employee survey Spiegel sent out earlier this year, he said Tuesday, adding that the top response was, “We want to hear more from you.”
Spiegel has realised the public investors want to hear more from him too. He recognised that “investors are fearful we’ll never be profitable or competitors will kill us or something like that.”
But Spiegel downplayed any threat from Facebook-owned Instagram, which has aggressively copied Snapchat’s core features in recent months and is estimated to make more than triple Snap’s revenue this year.
Spiegel is betting that Snap’s focus on product innovation and understanding of young people will give it the ultimate edge over Facebook’s copying efforts in the long run.
“I think what we found by focusing relentlessly on creativity, our customers show us what’s next and what they want,” he said.
Get the latest Snap stock price here.