Snap Inc.’s first head of talent partnerships, part of a push to make the social and camera tech company to be more of a resource for influencers and celebrities, is leaving for Nike.
Lauren Gallo joined Snap in the executive role less than two years ago, as first reported by WWD, leaving her position of about three years as a lead on Apple Inc.’s brand and marketing strategy. Snap’s goal with bringing Gallo in for the new position was for her to oversee and expand relationships with the platform’s “official” stories accounts, those maintained by celebrities and the ever-expanding realm of social influencers.
But about a year ago, Gallo was moved into the marketing department at Snap. Then Jim Shepherd, who started reporting to Gallo when she was hired, took up the lead position. He’d been in partnerships at Snap since 2015 and now has a handful of people reporting to him. The partnership team is also set to grow this year, as there are a few job postings for additions to the team. With the changes to her role, apparently no longer a fit, Gallo recently took up again with Nike Inc., where she worked in digital marketing before starting at Apple. It’s unclear what her exact position within Nike will be, but looking at a somewhat vague post Gallo put up on Instagram, it seems likely it will again be in a branding/marketing role.
“I always believed I’d return. I just didn’t know when,” Gallo wrote alongside a photo of Nike’s logo. “I couldn’t be more excited to be back building the future of the swoosh.”
A representative for Nike could not be reached for comment and a representative of Snap declined to comment.
While Snap is still one of the largest social platforms in the world, claims of its user base differ. The company says it has more than 200 million daily active users, but independent research firm e-Marketer puts its user base at just over 80 million. Pinterest recently took over Snap’s place as the third most used platform, according to e-Marketer, which said Pinterest just hit 82.4 million users.
Still, Snap is expected to exceed $1 billion in net advertising revenue this year, although the company is not profitable despite going public three years ago. It’s had its work cut out keeping up with the growing usage of rival platform Instagram. Snap has gone through a couple of ill-received redesigns and Kylie Jenner expressed what a lot of users seemed to be feeling in 2018: “Uh, does anyone else not open snapchat anymore? Or is it just me…ugh this is so sad.”
Gallo joined as head of talent partnerships very soon after Jenner’s comment — which caused a brief stock plummet. Gallo reported to longtime Snap executive and vice president of partnerships Ben Schwerin. Snap is testing some newer features, according to a recent report by The Verge, which called 2020 “a critical year” for the platform. New features being tested include a redesign of user discovery for Snap’s original video programming and also a feature for breaking news items and headlines.
But Nike, too, has had its share of publicity issues in recent months. At the end of last year, elite runner Mary Cain publicly accused the massive athletic brand of fostering an environment, at least within its disbanded Nike Oregon Project, of body-shaming and eating disorders. Before that, reports by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times detailed claims by multiple women of a “boys club” culture inside Nike, including harassment and gender discrimination against women employees, and internal complaints that went ignored.
After the purported issue was made public, about a dozen Nike executives were dismissed or “retired,” including brand president Trevor Edwards and general manager for global Jayme Martin. Last year, longtime Nike chief executive officer Mark Parker also stepped down, with the role going to board member and former eBay ceo John Donahoe, who earlier this week began installing his own management team at the brand.