Evan Spiegel, Snap CEO, sold around 2.7 million shares of Snap last week at a price of $18.71 per share, a transaction netting him just over $50 million. This is his first personal stock sale since Snap went public last March.
The sale was a part of a prearranged sales plan that executives often use to evade concerns over insider trading. The total shares sold were just more than 1 percent of his holdings.
Spiegel retains control of Snap and its primary product, Snapchat and so does Bobby Murphy, its co-founder.
Spiegel and Bobby Murphy had previously pledged not to sell any shares in 2017; a promise intended to comfort any potential investor concerns at the time when Snap’s employee lockup period ended.
Public company CEOs decisions about when and how to sell their stock can be meaningful. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg rarely sold the stock until he started doing so to fund his philanthropy; now he sells regularly, so much so that he initially tried to split Facebook’s stock in order to ensure he could keep selling without losing company control. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, on the other hand, has actually purchased stock on multiple occasions as a more symbolic way of showing faith in the company.
It is very early to know what Spiegel’s intentions are, although he’s not at any risk of losing control of the company. Spiegel and Murphy controlled a combined 88.5 percent of Snap’s voting power at the IPO.
Spiegel defended Snapchat's recent controversial redesign at a conference in San Francisco.
"We'd been thinking about the redesign for a really long time because we were frustrated that when you looked at the [app], both sides looked the same," Spiegel said. "We're excited about what we're seeing so far. Even the complaints we're seeing reinforce the philosophy. The frustrations we're seeing really validate those changes."