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Snapchat poaches Facebook exec for COO role

The messaging service nabs top Facebook executive Emily White just weeks after it rebuffed a reported $3 billion acquisition offer from the social network.

Nick Statt Former Staff Reporter / News
Nick Statt was a staff reporter for CNET News covering Microsoft, gaming, and technology you sometimes wear. He previously wrote for ReadWrite, was a news associate at the social-news app Flipboard, and his work has appeared in Popular Science and Newsweek. When not complaining about Bay Area bagel quality, he can be found spending a questionable amount of time contemplating his relationship with video games.
Nick Statt
2 min read
Snapchat headquarters in Venice, Calif.
Snapchat headquarters in Venice, Calif. Chris Kirkman

Ephemeral-message app Snapchat is proving to be a rather adamant thorn in Facebook's side.

Less than three weeks after rebuffing Facebook's $3 billion acquisition offer, Snapchat has stolen away Emily White, the social network's business lead responsible for bringing advertising to Instagram, to fill its COO spot, AllThingsD reported Tuesday.

White said she couldn't pass up the offer to take on a leadership role at the app that just last month announced it surpassed Facebook in daily photo uploads and is cruising toward a massive multibillion dollar valuation. "I have always been captivated by the creativity that has gone into the product...and I think that [CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel] 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," White told AllThingsD.

White was relatively new to the Instagram team, officially taking on the business lead role in April to work with CEO Kevin Systrom on monetizing the photo-sharing app. Despite the bumpy start to Instagram ads -- including massive user backlash in response to a Lexus post -- White helped put the app's business efforts on track, Systrom said, and Instagram has lined up an impressive list of partners.

Given the acquisition news, massive growth, and this recent Facebook poaching, Snapchat has been flying high of late, though not without speed bumps. In yet another analogous plot line to Facebook's history, CEO Evan Spiegel is struggling with a lawsuit from an alleged third co-founder, Reggie Brown, who in February filed a lawsuit against him and fellow co-founder Bobby Murphy over the rights to a third of the company.

And its image has also been less than stellar. Snapchat has long been painted as the poster child for the next Silicon Valley bubble-burst -- a startup garnering mind-boggling valuations and an eye-popping user base but has yet to earn a cent. With White, however, perhaps it's found a road map to revenue.