Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is reportedly vacationing on a yacht as his share price tanks, and investors aren’t happy with Miranda Kerr’s husband
To leave or not to leave, that’s the question.
Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel is under fire from some investors for reportedly holidaying on a yacht off Europe as his company’s share price collapses. The Snapchat parent currently has a market capitalization of around $17.65 billion, down more than 30% from the $28.3 billion it was valued at shortly after it went public earlier this year. “Evan is chilling on the coast while Snap burns,” one angry shareholder told Page Six. “He’s feasting on Italian delicacies while shareholders starve. ‘Let them eat losses!’”
Clearly, there’s pressure on the 27-year-old tech wunderkind to follow the lead of “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who delayed a planned vacation to respond on-air after they were personally attacked by the president of the United States. But experts say you need to carefully select what really constitutes an all-hands-on-deck emergency that requires your return.
“Anyone in a senior position will have hundreds of crises to deal with every day,” says Roy Cohen, a New York based career coach. “But everyone deserves vacations. The question Spiegel should ask himself is if the trend is reversible or not? Sometimes there are no consequences.”
As such falling share prices aren’t that big a deal, since the stock market by nature gyrates (though Snap’s stock dip coincides with a general boom among its other tech competitors.) Debra Benton, co-author of “The Leadership Mind Switch,” thinks that the only situation in which your return is warranted is if there’s been a death of a colleague on a job, or a meltdown on the scale of Bernie Madoff’s fraud. “Stuff that affects pocket books or when life is at risk, those are when all cards are off the table,” she says, noting that women on maternity leave might otherwise find their leave constantly interrupted.
Indeed, not returning when there’s a non-epochal crisis is a good way to see if your understudies and direct reports can meet the challenge. “If you’re grooming talent, you need to ensure you’re exposed to crisis,” says Cohen, author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” “How else will they handle emergencies when you’re gone? That’s what succession planning is all about.”
Also read: Why One Analyst Is Calling Snap a ‘Disaster’
Still, it’s probably a good idea to reach out to stakeholders and make sure they know you’re available if the crisis develops further. “There’s no place we go that’s so remote that it’s impossible to reach you,” Cohen says. “You may need to determine if you need to get on the phone with your team. I suspect most people don’t fully disconnect on vacation anyway.” A 2012 study from Michigan State University found that wireless data use on vacation was actually higher than when people were back home.
There is one big no-no for executives on vacation during times of trouble: sharing snaps or videos of your extravagant holiday on social media. The optics of that—whether to shareholders or your colleagues back home trying to solve a problem really aren’t great. “Cut out all the fun and games from Instagram,” Benton says. Instead, she suggests posting a photo of you hunkered over in a hotel bed emailing your team, with a tongue in cheek caption like “this is our honeymoon.”
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