Talk about scandal – Sriram Krishnan, the Facebook executive who has been running the company’s ad network was poached by Snapchat.
Background on Krishnan: He joined Facebook back in 2013 and helped launch the ad network called Audience Network, in early 2014 so that Facebook could sell display and video ad space inside apps that it doesn’t own. Word is that Krishnan announced that he was leaving Facebook via email last week.
A spokesperson from Snapchat confirmed Krishnan’s hire and said that he’ll be part of the company’s growth and revenue team, but didn’t share any specifics of the role – shady. So we don’t know what Krishnan’s exact role will be at Snapchat, but we’re smart enough to connect the dots.
Snapchat is in the early stages of growing its advertising business and it doesn’t offer an ads API so it’ll be selling ad inventory “by hand.” It’s already known that CEO Evan Spiegel is interested in automating that process with ad tech. They’ve been chatting with ad tech startups to learn about the industry as well as scope out potential acquisitions.
It makes sense that they would hire an experience ad tech expert from a company that has already figured out how to make a ton of money from mobile advertising. Not only did Krishnan help build an ad network, but he also has experience building app-install ads, which has been super lucrative for Facebook. Thus, it is quite likely that Snapchat, with its $16 billion valuation and IPO aspirations, is interested in both of those options.
By the way, this isn’t the first go-around. Krishnan is just the latest in a number of high profile Snapchat hires from Facebook. However, few of them have stuck around including former COO Emily White, HR head Sara Sperling and revenue box Mike Randall.