The Information’s Person of 2017: Evan Spiegel

Last year we awarded our person of 2016 to Jeff Bezos, a pick we believe has held up well upon reflection. Alexa agrees.

For 2017, we’re moving from one of the longest-serving titans in tech to one of its youngest: Evan Spiegel. You may think this is an obvious choice given Snap’s highly anticipated IPO. That move will bring the secretive and self-confident 26-year old founder a level of scrutiny he may or may not be up for. (Our criteria for the selection is the person who will have a greater news profile and greater impact on the global tech industry. For runner-ups, see here and here and for subscriber views on the person of 2017, see here.)

But we’re choosing Mr. Spiegel not just because he’ll be at the helm of one of the most highly anticipated IPOs in recent years. We are choosing him because Snap is ushering in a new era in tech. It’s one that moves away from the high-octane race of incessant growth, and instead focuses on corralling a smaller number of high-value customers. Whether Wall Street responds positively is the $25 billion question.

No subscription? You’re missing out.
Join the high-powered community of tech and business leaders who rely on The Information’s original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 656 words of this article.
What’s included in a subscription?
Read The Information’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis
Receive as-they-happen articles via email
Talk with award-winning reporters in subscriber-only conference calls
Join the conversation on our subscriber-only Slack channel
Attend intimate, high-powered events with leaders in tech and business
Subscribe to The Information

For Mr. Spiegel, the IPO may be nothing more than a financing event, a way to give liquidity to his investors and employees. But the reality is that it puts him in the spotlight in a way he may not fully appreciate. Next year is when we’ll find out how he responds.

4 total comments
Vinayak Dalmia, Shawn Wang and 2 others commented on this article.
Read comments from top tech and industry leaders
Evan Spiegel
Evan Spiegel
CEO, Snapchat
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Marc Andreessen
Marc Andreessen
Co-Founder, Andreessen Horowitz
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
Alex Mather
Alex Mather
The Atheltic
Martha Josephson
Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Login or Subscribe to follow the discussions happening here and real-time in our   Slack Community.
While some companies might be looking for ways to catch up to Facebook, Snap is doing the opposite. It has avoided changing its app to appeal to the broadest possible audience, preferring to stick with its core group of teenagers and 20-somethings.