Thu. Aug 22nd, 2019

A week after the sudden departure of Bob Muglia, new Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman replaces 2 key executives with veterans of his previous employer (NOW)


A week after the sudden departure of Bob Muglia, new Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman replaces 2 key executives with veterans of his previous employer (NOW)

Frank Slootman

  • Two more top Snowflake execs are out, a week after the sudden departure of CEO Bob Muglia.
  • Snowflake has also hired two new execs from ServiceNow, the company once led by new CEO Frank Slootman.
  • One analyst echoed speculation that Slootman was hired to lead Snowflake to an IPO, sooner rather than later — something that Muglia didn’t seem in a rush to do. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories

A week after Bob Muglia’s surprising exit as CEO of Snowflake, two top execs leading the company’s legal and HR teams are leaving the $3.5 billion data-storage startup. Snowflake has also brought in two new execs from ServiceNow, the cloud computing company that was previously led by new CEO Frank Slootman.

Margo Smith, Snowflake’s chief legal officer, and Kathy O’Driscoll, the chief people officer, are “transitioning out,” a company spokeswoman told Business Insider. 

Rob Specker, who just left his position as general counsel at ServiceNow, is joining Snowflake in the same role. Shelly Begun, who had been senior vice president for human resources at ServiceNow, has joined Snowflake as vice president of HR.

Read more: Famous exec Bob Muglia is out as CEO of $3.5 billion Snowflake, just weeks after saying an IPO isn’t imminent

“We have made some leadership changes- these include a new leader for HR and general counsel,” Alisa MacDonnell, Snowflake’s vice president for corporate marketing, told Business Insider. She also said Snowflake co-founder and chief technology officer Benoit Dageville is taking on a bigger role as president of products.

“This will all be reflected externally in the near future,” she said.

Was Slootman hired to take Snowflake public?

Muglia’s sudden departure sparked speculation that he was forced out — just weeks prior to the announcement, Muglia had told an interviewer that Snowflake had enough funding and was not planning to go public for at least another year or two.

Constellation Research analyst Ray Wang speculates that this may have been the case, and that Slootman was brought on by Snowflake’s board of directors specifically to accelerate the IPO timetable. He also theorized that the hiring of former ServiceNow execs shows Slootman trying to consolidate his power at Snowflake.  

“He wants his own team,” he told Business Insider. “They want Slootman to take the company public, and he doesn’t want someone else coming in to replace him after he takes the company public.”

bob muglia snowflake

Wang isn’t alone in this belief: At the time of the CEO change, Business Insider reported that an analyst who knows both Muglia and Slootman believes that it was a change designed to get the company more ready to go public. Slootman, of note, led ServiceNow and other previous employers to big exits, both via IPO and acquisition.  

MacDonnell of Snowflake disputed the view that Slootman was brought on specifically to take the company public.

I have heard nothing of the sort,” she said. “It is my understanding that Frank has been brought onboard because he has the perfect experience and knowledge to successfully lead the company through its next phase.”

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