Snapchat’s high-profile chief operating officer, Emily White, has left the company, the Venice company confirmed Friday.
“Emily is a talented executive and we thank her for her many contributions to Snapchat,” spokeswoman Mary Ritti said in an emailed statement.
White was a big hire for the ephemeral-photo messaging company, leaving her job as director of business operations for Instagram to join Snapchat as COO in December 2013. She previously worked for Google and Facebook.
Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, Re-code reported that White’s departure was spurred by co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel's wanting more hands-on control over the fast-growing start-up, which conflicted with White’s desire for a greater leadership role. In her role as COO, White was second in command behind Spiegel and had been responsible for areas of the company including sales, HR and business operations.
According to Re-Code sources, White has long had ambitions to be a CEO herself and took the role at Snapchat because of its broad responsibilities.
Snapchat did not comment on whether it will replace White.
White is the third executive to leave Snapchat in recent months. In January, sales head Mike Randall -- which Snapchat had hired away from Facebook -- resigned, followed by HR director Sara Sperling last month. Sperling cited personal reasons for her departure.
Snapchat is one of the fastest growing and most highly valued technology start-ups in Los Angeles. The company recently pulled in a $200-million investment from Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group, raising its market value to $15 billion.