Nick Bell, VP of content at Snapchat parent company Snap, is leaving the company after nearly five years of building media partnerships and leading the creation of original content for the mobile platform.
With Bell’s exit, Snap’s content team will be headed up by Jared Grusd, formerly CEO of Huffington Post, who recently joined the company as chief strategy officer. Snap execs Sean Mills, head of original content, and David Brinker, director of business development for content, will remain at the company.
In a memo to his team Monday, Bell wrote that he will be leaving Snap “to take some time off to recharge before deciding on my next adventure.” He said he will be “transitioning” out of his role through the end of 2018.
Bell joined Snapchat in 2014, relocating to L.A. after previously serving as senior VP of digital products at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp based in London.
At Snap, Bell led the team that in early 2015 launched Snapchat Discover, a destination on the app that lets media companies and publishers distribute short-form content. He also spearheaded the rollout of Snapchat’s original shows, expanding its slate to some 60 series including its foray this fall into new scripted and unscripted reality formats.
“We are so grateful for Nick and everything he has built at Snap,” CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel said in a statement. “It has been an incredible journey that began with our vision for what content could be on mobile. Today, more people are watching more premium content on Snap than ever before, and we couldn’t be more excited about the momentum we are seeing with Snap Originals. We will miss Nick, and we wish him all the best.”
Bell’s exit comes two months after the departure of chief strategy officer Imran Khan, whom Grusd was hired to replace.
Read Bell’s memo to staff about his exit:
After nearly 5 years and a once in a lifetime ride, I have let Evan know that I am leaving Snap to take some time off to recharge before deciding on my next adventure.
From my very first meeting with Evan, I knew this was going to be an extraordinary journey. Thanks to the hard work of our amazing team, we have built Discover into a world-leading media platform. We have established vertical video as the industry standard, built hugely successful partnerships with some of the world’s best media companies and storytellers, produced incredible stories, launched a fantastic slate of Original Shows and built a robust advertising business. This experience has been incredibly rewarding and an absolute blast. I leave now with amazing memories, many lifelong friendships, and a huge amount of excitement for the future of Snap.
Although I am announcing this news today, I will be transitioning out of the role between now and the end of the year. I am so proud of all that we have achieved together at Snap, and most proud of the team I leave behind to continue to execute against the vision.
Bell was interviewed last month for the Variety podcast Strictly Business about his work at Snap. In the interview, he downplayed the idea that Snap’s financial struggles would prompt the company to reconsider its content play. “I was sold when I first met Evan Spiegel on the long-term vision,” he said at the time. “I’m still really excited by that long-term vision. We’re playing the long game here.”