Snap is losing a key executive who was at the helm of its hardware efforts. The departure comes as its Spectacles are still struggling to find mainstream appeal.
In a letter to employees, Mark Randall confirmed his exit from the company after a two-year stint. He was leading the Snap Labs team that develops hardware to use with Snap’s software. Aside from smart glasses, this group of talent was once believed to be working on action cameras and drones. It experienced a round of layoffs in late 2017 that halted those plans.
Randall, who joined as VP of Operations before taking on his last role as VP of Hardware, will be leaving Snap to create his own startup. The performance of Snap’s latest Spectacles did not push him out, according to Cheddar. Multiple people say Randall’s exit is a personal decision.
The original model, however, should have made it clear that Snap must to rethink its ambitions in hardware.
After hundreds of thousands of units went unsold and took up space in warehouses for months, Snap is reported to have assumed a $40 million write-down However, that didn’t deter the money-bleeding company at all. Even with its bottom line never getting out of the rid, Snap remained committed to augmented reality-based hardware.
Back in April, the new Spectacles launched with a revised design. But the product quickly lost its hype despite Snap making the smart glasses thinner, more durable, and feature-packed. The Spectacles should be popular during the summer, but really there’s no interest in them from consumers and influencers.
The leadership at Snap knows its situation. Every quarter, the business reports a loss that sends its stock price into a tailspin. Snap needs to make money and quick. Now it looks like smart glasses won’t represent the start of a turnaround Evan Spiegel so desperately wants.