Snap employees reportedly feel CEO Evan Spiegel is aloof thanks to private jet flights and his requests for armed security

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  • Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is reportedly seen as distant by his employees.
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, that’s because Spiegel took a private jet during the firm’s IPO roadshow rather than flying with the rest of the banking team.
  • Spiegel also requested armed guard, but executives worried about the consequences of having security with guns.
  • Spiegel sits on the top floor of Snap’s new Santa Monica offices, which employees nickname the “ivory tower.”

Snap employees perceive their chief executive Evan Spiegel as an aloof leader, thanks to the fact he takes private jets and wants full-time armed guard.

That’s according to a Wall Street Journal dive into Spiegel’s character as a leader, after its stock sank below $US5 for the first time.

According to employees speaking to the newspaper, Spiegel flew on his own private jet during Snap’s investor roadshow last year, while bankers handling its IPO flew on another plane. The 28-year-old CEO is also super hot on security, often accompanied by a heavy security team that clears out several floors before he arrives at other Snap offices. According to the report, Spiegel once requested armed guard thanks to a spate of violent incidents near Snap’s headquarters, but executives pushed back over worries about having guns in the office.

Read more: A ‘nonsense’ valuation of $US1 billion, a failed sale to Snap, and an investor fight: Inside Blippar’s dramatic collapse

Spiegel, the report says, also sits on the top floor of Snap’s Santa Monica headquarters with two assistants. Employees have reportedly nicknamed this the “ivory tower.”

That distance appears to feed into an overall sense that Spiegel wields a huge amount of control at Snap. He controls almost 50% of the firm’s voting shares and takes gut decisions, such as introducing Snapchat’s disastrous redesign apparently without seeking input from his executive team.

Business Insider has contacted Snap for comment.

Part of Spiegel’s privacy may stem from his celebrity status. Unlike most other Silicon Valley CEOs, Spiegel is married to an A-lister, the model Miranda Kerr.

The attitude appears to filter through into Snap. The company famously held secret gatherings at the advertising festival Cannes in a secret compound marked only by a subtle ghost logo on the gate.

Speaking to Business Insider in September, Snapchat’s international chief Claire Valoti said the company had a “perception versus reality” problem.

“I can only speak to my own experience, but I haven’t felt the secrecy,” Valoti said at the time. “I have never felt so connected to my peers or the wider company, so I’ve never faced that challenge.”

You can read the full Wall Street Journal report here.

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