In an SEC filing published on Monday, Snap, the company behind Snapchat, disclosed that Imran Khan, its chief strategy officer and a member of the NR30, is leaving the company to "pursue other opportunities."
Khan will continue to serve in his role on an interim basis to ensure that his roles and responsibilities are transitioned properly. His last day has yet to be determined.
"There is never a perfect time to say goodbye, but we have a stellar leadership team in place to guide Snap through the next chapter, and I plan to stay on to ensure a very smooth transition," said Khan in the filing.
According to the filing, Khan's decision was not triggered by any conflict with Snap's operations, strategy, policies, or practices. Rather, as TechCrunch reports, Khan is planning to start his own investment firm. The firm will pursue investment opportunities with public and private companies seeking to disrupt traditional business areas.
"Imran has been a great partner building our business," said Evan Spiegel, chief executive officer at Snap (and also an NR30 member). "We appreciate all of his hard work and wish him the best."
Khan has played a pivotal role not only in taking the company public and fending off competitive challenges from Facebook, but also in steering the monetization of Snapchat, including sponsored offerings for its augmented reality Lenses.
In a year when Snap has made AR a corporate priority, the company has rolled out its Shoppable AR platform for e-commerce, expanded its branded offerings to include its new Snappables multi-user AR experiences, and acquired 3D gaming engine PlayCanvas, a move that's expected to result in an AR gaming platform. These moves are also why he ranks number eight on Next Reality's listing of the top people in AR.
His departure leaves a leadership hole at the company just as Snap is working to reverse a decline in user growth, nurture its AR platform, and build future AR hardware. Anything that potentially stifles growth for one of the top companies in augmented reality is not necessarily good news for the augmented reality industry as a whole, either.
Coincidentally, another NR30 member, Gordon Meyer, has also left his position as vice president of product and marketing at AR startup Lampix. Lampix confirmed his departure via email, although no reason was cited for the parting of ways.
As with Snap, the departure of a top executive will likely disrupt operations to some extent, but for Lampix, it comes at a particularly crucial time as the company is trying to bring its AR projector to market and sell the community on a blockchain-based business model.
Additional reporting by Adario Strange