The CEO of Snapchat has been coached to make these changes to his management style

25 September 2018 -

snapchatSnapchat CEO Evan Spiegel believes management development will improve his productivity and performance

Emily Hill

The CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, has requested management training as he attempts to reverse the fortunes of the social media company.

Spiegel launched parent company Snap Inc on the stock market last year, thanks to Snapchat’s rising popularity as a photo-sharing app. But it has since lost millions of users due to an unpopular redesign; shares in Snap Inc are trading a third below its IPO price.

As a result, Spiegel has invited Stephen Miles, a management coach and author, to advise him on how to improve his performance. He has also conducted an anonymous survey of his employees to ask how he could adapt his leadership style.


According to a recent interview given by Spiegel, respondents suggested that he needed to stop being so secretive and communicate more clearly what he was setting out to achieve. The reason that he had not already done this, Spiegel explained, was that he is shy and feels intimidated addressing large groups. Open communication is therefore the first management challenge he faces.

“I remember thinking, ‘why would I go around the company and just chat with people?” Spiegel told Business Insider. “That would be so awkward. Now I go walk around the office and get a ton of emails [saying] ‘Oh, my God, that was awesome you came by.’”

Spiegel has also been told to change his ‘hub and spoke’ management model, which positions him – and his personal instincts – at the heart of the business. Any new, more inclusive structure of Snap Inc should be more motivating for its people and, significantly, more appropriate for a publicly traded company, too.

Finally, Spiegel has been advised to take criticism better. Snapchat’s share price decline is seen as a result of that deeply unpopular redesign of the app. As CEO, he was presented with data that predicted it would trigger a loss of users but Spiegel went ahead regardless.

Overall, Spiegel has been told that he needs to become more professional. The strong self-belief that helped him launch a unique product needs now to be tempered with a more inclusive approach – in monthly staff meetings, for example. This means priorities can be discussed and everyone’s opinion can be heard. And that may prevent future big mistakes...

Management development: CMI accredits a range of professional qualifications

Powered by Professional Manager