Snap Inc. quickly hired Michael O’Sullivan to lead the company’s legal department, just weeks after the previous GC, Chris Handman, notified employees about his departure. O’Sullivan, who represented giants such as Google Inc. and Bank of America earlier in his career, joins the company behind popular messaging app, Snapchat, from Munger, Tolles & Olson, where he was a partner.
Snap did not return a message seeking comment, and a call to O’Sullivan’s number at his old firm was not returned.
A Snap representative did confirm O’Sullivan’s hire for a Business Insider report, along with two separate new hires. According to the report, Snap hired Kathy Mandato as the new vice president of human relations and Francis Racioppi, Jr. as the new director of global security. Business Insider also reported that Robyn Thomas, former vice president of human resources and legal, recently left the company. According to Thomas’ LinkedIn profile, she joined Snap as an employment counsel in May 2015 and was promoted less than six months later.
In mid-July, Handman told employees in an email that he was leaving the Venice Beach-based company for personal reasons and to spend more time with his family. Handman joined Snap in mid-2014 from Hogan Lovells, where he was a litigator.
Recently it has been rare for a big-name tech company to fill an open GC position so quickly with an outside hire. Uber Technologies Inc., which promoted its GC Salle Yoo to the chief legal officer role in May, is still looking for a full time GC. Square Inc., which lost its GC Dana Wagner in August 2016, took until November of that year to hire Hillary Smith. And Pinterest Inc., which lost Michael Yang in November 2016 took until March 2017 to hire Christine Flores.
O’Sullivan has a deep background in corporate and securities matters. He represented Google’s co-founders through the company’s initial public offering and he advised on the company’s creation of a third class of common stock. He represented Bare Escentuals Inc. CEO Leslie Blodgett in the company’s $1.7 billion sale to Shiseido, and he has represented KB Home through major financings and acquisitions. He advised Bank of America in litigation matters related to the 2008 financial crisis.
O’Sullivan is a partner at the same firm as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel’s father. John Spiegel of Munger Tolles’ Los Angeles office practices general commercial, securities and white collar litigation.
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