In another blow to Facebook, Snapchat steals its top Instagram advertising exec

If Facebook was slightly miffed about Snapchat rejecting its $3 billion offer to buy it, its executives must be positively fuming about the latest news.

AllThingsD reports that Emily White, the executive tasked with bringing ad revenues to Facebook-owned Instagram is leaving the company to become the COO of Snapchat.

As Instagram’s director of business operations, White had especially been appointed by Facebook in April to start monetizing Instagram. Under her, the photo-sharing platform debuted its first advertisements and brand partnerships, earning a much circulated feature about her efforts in the Wall Street Journal. Speaking to AllThingsD, White said the offer to join Snapchat had only come about in the last few weeks, and it was one she couldn’t refuse.

“It happened really quickly, but to have an actual COO role in one of many companies that is disrupting the communications arena is one I could not pass up,” she said. “I have always been captivated by the creativity that has gone into the product … and I think that Evan has been looking for someone who can help him grow and scale what is already something that has changed a lot of the way people think about the mobile experience.”

For Snapchat, this is a major talent acquisition. White’s tech pedigree is unquestionable, having been an early employee of Google, who later became the director of mobile partnerships at Facebook. She was seen as the grown-up in the room at Instagram, and will be expected to play the same role at Snapchat, mirroring her former mentor at Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg. The move also shows that Snapchat is pretty serious about growing its own revenue, and answering critics who say it was crazy to reject Facebook’s offer.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom was gracious about her departure, saying in a statement:

“I cannot thank Emily enough for her contributions to Instagram. She was tasked with getting the first ads products out the door — and she did that beautifully. Instagram is in an even better place today because of her efforts and we thank her.”

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