White, 35, leaves behind her job as director of business operations for Instagram. She previously worked for Facebook and Google.
In her new gig, White will be Snapchat's second in command behind co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel and will help the photo-sharing app scale its operations.
Snapchat spokeswoman Mary Ritti said White would start in early January.
"We are really excited to have her join the Snapchat family," Ritti said in an email. She added that the company had no other details to share.
In an interview with AllThingsD, which was first to report the hire, White said she was intrigued by the opportunity to reshape the mobile experience.
“It happened really quickly, but to have an actual COO role in one of many companies that is disrupting the communications arena is one I could not pass up,” she told the tech blog.
The high-profile hire is also a sign that Snapchat intends to remain a standalone company for the near-term. The fast-growing start-up, which enables users to send disappearing photos, in recent weeks spurned a $3-billion acquisition offer by Facebook.
Snapchat reportedly sees 400 million "snaps" sent every day, a staggering number for a start-up that is just 2 years old. It has about 30 employees and recently moved to a larger office in Venice.