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As Evan Spiegel Rejiggers Sales Plan, Snapchat Adds Vevo's Luke Kallis

What are the advertising aims of the ephemeral messaging service?

Asa Mathat

Snapchat, the ephemeral communications company that has been morphing into a new kind of content platform, is poised to bring on Vevo sales head Luke Kallis as its west coast sales head.

Kallis, who calls himself a “builder of marketers’ dreams” on Twitter, has been running national sales for the music service, having worked there since 2010. Previously, he held a variety of online sales jobs at Facebook, Salon, Myspace and IGN.

A Snapchat spokesperson confirmed the hiring and said Kallis will report to chief strategy head Imran Khan, a clear up-and-coming power player at the Los Angeles-area company. Khan, formerly a well-known Wall Street analyst and banker, has added interim head of sales at Snapchat to his job portfolio.

That means Snapchat still hasn’t formally replaced its last sales head, Mike Randall, who departed the company at the start of this year. A few months later, Snapchat COO Emily White, who had worked with Randall at Facebook, also left.

It’s not uncommon for executives to revolve through high-profile startups — especially during the early days. That has happened a lot at places such as Facebook and Twitter in their hyper-growth periods. But it’s not clear what CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel wants in the sales arena, although the company has focused on revenue much earlier than some other billion-dollar startups.

Still, Snapchat has a deep bench for such a young company and has been searching for more execs, including a CFO. Other top management there now with key roles includes: VP of engineering Tim Sehn, a former Amazon exec; former Google, Apple and Motorola exec Steve Horowitz, who is also a VP of engineering; former Egon Zehnder exec Simmi Singh, who is chief talent officer; former Google exec Jill Hazelbaker, who runs communications and policy; and general counsel Chris Handman.

This group, along with White and former News Corp. digital exec Nick Bell, has accomplished a lot, including introducing the Discover feature, which has been much lauded by publishers and marketers.

Discover is a new section within Snapchat where publishers can share videos and stories that exist for 24-hour cycles. Snapchat started out charging a very rich $100 CPM for ads in that section, but has since dropped its prices. Now advertisers seem intrigued with Snapchat’s Live Stories feature, created with user-generated content.

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