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Evan Spiegel: The 26-Year-Old Billionaire At The Helm Of Snap

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Evan Spiegel: The 26-Year-Old Billionaire At The Helm Of Snap
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By Doug Sears.

Helming Thursday’s Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) IPO is co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, who developed the business while still a student at Stanford University. Spiegel, who has a net worth of $4 billion, looks to add close to $400 million to his personal fortune in the IPO, which has an estimated overall value of $24 billion.

Saying No To Facebook

Spiegel's defining accomplishment as CEO continues to be the decision to turn down a $3 billion offer from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and founder Mark Zuckerberg. The decision was heavily panned at the time, but the IPO signals redemption for 26-year-old Spiegel.

Related Link: The Road Ahead For Snap: What Does It Mean To Be A Camera Company?

The Determination Of Spiegel

Spiegel established a reputation as a salesman while studying at Stanford, parlaying his abilities into a sales internship at Red Bull, a brand Spiegel admired. After a few other internships and a teaching post in South Africa, Spiegel made his first foray in entrepreneurship with a website called FutureFreshman.com designed to assist potential college students with the application process. The site fizzled, but the idea for Snapchat followed shortly afterward.

Spiegel partnered with friend Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown to develop Snapchat, originally called Peekaboo, in the summer of 2011, releasing a preliminary version of the app in July of that year. Snapchat took off, Facebook's 2013 offer was rebuffed and the brand continued to grow users (rumored to be 130 million each day), recruit investors and fail to profit. A 2016 release indicated a loss of $514 million.

Most Recent Controversy And Public Persona

Spiegel has largely avoided the controversy that seems to be a requirement for Silicon Valley success stories, other than a few minor public slipups. A fraternity email surfaced in May 2014, in which Spiegel made misogynistic remarks as he recapped a recent party, and Spiegel offered one of the more sincere public apologies in recent memory. However, outside of that, little has surfaced except for accusations of arrogance.

Spiegel does not tweet despite 47 thousand followers, nor maintain a Facebook page. He rarely addresses the public, eschewing the trends set by Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.

Image Credit: By TechCrunch, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: Bobby Murphy Evan SpiegelNews Movers & Shakers Management IPOs Tech General Best of Benzinga

 

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