Jeff Lucas, current head of ad sales and marketing at Viacom Media Networks, is to jump ship to Snapchat in July according to company sources.
The news comes as the entertainment giant is right in the middle of negotiations with marketers to commit advertising budgets for the coming year.
The abrupt departure has apparently sparked a race to find a successor for Lucas who has served Viacom since 2006 with one option being to promote his deputies to jointly fill the role.
Snapchat has long sought to poach Lucas who had thus far rebuffed their advances in favour of sticking it out with Viacom but it seems that boardroom politics may have tempted Lucas through the exit door.
Viacom saw its share of domestic ad revenue slide one per cent in 2015 to $4.96bn and has been embroiled in a boardroom bust-up between management and majority shareholder Sumner Redstone.
In the latest twist to that saga Redstone is now expected to force out some members of the board, including chief executive Philippe Dauman.
Quoting an unnamed insider the Post wrote: “Philippe is now aware that his direct reports are in open revolt. Jeff would be staying if Tom Dooley, the chief operating officer, were the chief executive.”