Snapchat's First Employees

The first employees of Snapchat, like Dropbox, relied almost entirely on an alumni network. A majority of the first 20 or so hires was either a recent Stanford undergrad or a Masters student with less than two years of experience. In contrast, however, a few early executives of the company had much more industry experience to help advise and guide the company through its massive growth period.

While it has come a long way from its initial conception as a sexting app, Snapchat has received negative press on a number of occasions, mostly because of the antics of some of its early team members. Founder Evan Spiegel’s leaked emails and first hire David Kravitz’s misogynistic posts on social media gave the impression that Snapchat was being run by a bunch of "Stanford frat brothers". However, other than a "Stanford bias", there is nothing peculiar about the early team —- after all, it’s certainly not uncommon in the Valley to have an early team made up of mostly male Stanford graduates.

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David Kravitz
Software Engineer
C.S., Stanford. Friends with founders. First software engineer, building out infrastructure on client and server side in June 2012. One of many Snapchat employees embroiled in negative press.
Daniel Smith
Software Engineer
C.S., Stanford. Met Spiegel his freshman year. Was second hire/engineer in June 2012. Enjoys making his own circuit boards and guitars. AKA "Captain Captcha."
ChiaYi Lin
Designer
First Snapchat designer as a fresh graduate from the Art Center College of Design. She keeps a low-profile and doesn't list Snapchat on her LinkedIn, only her college internships.
Sebastian Gil
Engineering Manager
C.S., Stanford. Worked at Facebook and startups Chompon and Yerdle for a year. Joined as an engineer in Jan. 2013. Became the Engineering Manager after one year.
Mary Ritti
Communications
B.A. in English and Communications, Chestnut Hill College '94. Partner at North of Nine, with 19 years of experience in marketing and communications before joining Snapchat in Feb. 2013.
Micah Schaffer
Public Policy
Had seven years of work experience as part of early Youtube team, public policy team at Google, then as independent consultant. Snapchat hired him in Apr. 2013 to work in public policy.
Philippe Browning
Operations (Monetization, Bizdev, Ads, Distribution, Marketing)
B.A. in English, Harvard. VP of Advertising and Operations at CBS Interactive with 11 years of industry experience when he was hired by Snapchat to lead Operations in May 2013.
Dena Gallucci
Community (now Strategy)
B.A. in Communications, Stanford '13. First interned as a Community Manager in 2012, graduated, then rejoined in June 2013 to help with Strategy and Corporate Development.
Chloe Drimal
Content (Discover)
B.A. in American Studies, Yale '13. Wrote about Snapchat in the Yale Daily News, which got picked up by TechCrunch. Eventually hired by Spiegel in June 2013 to lead Content team upon graduation.
Nic Dahlquist
Software Engineer (now firmware with Spectacles)
C.S., Stanford '14. Started as an intern in June 2013 during UI overhaul and launching of the Stories feature. Dropped out of Stanford to continue working at Snapchat.