Snap boss Spiegel took home $638m in flotation year

22 February 2018, 19:54

Wall Street has been left wide-eyed amid revelations the co-founder and chief executive of Snap was awarded $638m (£458m) in 2017.

The vast sum, experts say, amounts to the third-largest payment ever netted by an executive in a single year - one that saw the company behind the photo and video-sharing app Snapchat float on the US stock market.

A regulatory filing showed Evan Spiegel was handed stock-based awards worth $636.6m.

His salary was a paltry $98,078, the document showed, with other forms of compensation accounting for the rest.

According to analysis by the data arm of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), he trails only one other businessman in annual awards - both of which came ahead of the financial crisis.

Daniel Och, the chief executive of hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, was handed annual compensation of $918.9m in the fiscal year 2007 and $1.19bn in 2008, it said.

Snap made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in March last year valued at $24bn - its shares soaring on the first day of trading.

However, its market value has endured something of a roller coaster ride ever since, with investors consistently disappointed by core numbers at the loss-making firm despite daily active user growth for Snapchat growing 18% last year - albeit to almost 190 million. Facebook has 1.4 billion in comparison.

Shares of Snap rose above their flotation price of $17 for the first time since July earlier this month despite a public backlash against Snapchat redesigns.

A tweet by reality TV star Kylie Jenner was credited by market analysts for taking 7% off Snap's value on Thursday.

She told her 24.5 million followers she was no longer using Snapchat in a Tweet that said: "Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad."

She later wrote that she still loved the app - declaring it "my first love".