Khan joins a bunch of senior-level hires at the messaging app who might all be filed under the category “adult supervision.” They include Emily White (formerly of Instagram and Facebook) as COO and Jill Hazelbaker (who did political PR for Google, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and US Sen. John McCain). They all report to Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s 24-year-old founder and CEO.
Snapchat used to stumble in terms of public relations — by ignoring hackers, for instance, and by having a public fight with a former founder. But these days the company operates in a much more slick, professional way, and Spiegel looks as if he is controlling events rather than being ambushed by them.
Khan is the most interesting hire because of his IPO experience. He and Credit Suisse have led IPOs for Alibaba and King, the maker of Candy Crush Saga. Khan has personally led IPOs for Alibaba, Groupon, Bazaarvoice, Taome and Toudu.
We can’t say that Snapchat is gearing up for an IPO, of course. But we can say that it is building a management team that is more than capable of helming a major transaction for the company, such as an acquisition or a public offering of stock.
The company is already valued at $US10 billion after taking $US163 million in venture capital investment. It has recently bolted on a revenue stream, letting companies experiment with ads and has added a mobile payments function. Universal, Macy’s, Amazon and Hollister are current clients.
Snapchat is huge: BI Intelligence estimates it has 100 million monthly active users. It is second only to Facebook’s Messenger in the Apple App Store, according to the Wall Street Journal.