WhatsApp CEO, Co-Founder Jan Koum Is Leaving Facebook

May 01, 2018, 08:41
WhatsApp CEO, Co-Founder Jan Koum Is Leaving Facebook

He said he was leaving to pursue interests such as working on his vehicle, playing ultimate frisbee and collecting Porsches.

Instead, he describes his time with WhatsApp as "an fantastic journey with some of the best people", adding that it was "time for me to move on". "I'll still be cheering WhatsApp on - just from the outside", Koum added.

In a jolt to Facebook, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum has made a decision to move on amid reports that he had a difference of opinion with parent company Facebook over data privacy, encryption and other issues.

In 3.5 years WhatsApp has grown like anything and now it has over 1.5 billion monthly users.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented that he will "miss working closely" with Koum. "Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp", Zuckerberg wrote.

The issues at stake include Facebook's demand for more user data being attached to WhatsApp profiles-in spite of the app's buyout including promises that it would "remain autonomous and operate independently". Koum nearly immediately chose the name WhatsApp because it sounded like "what's up", and a week later on his birthday, February 24, 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc.in California.

Koum's concerns over Facebook's attitude towards privacy may have started in 2016, when an update to WhatsApp's privacy policy noted that the company planned to start sharing user data with Facebook. Back in March, we reported about how Aleksandr Kogan, a University of Cambridge professor, accessed the data of more than 50 million Facebook users after creating a survey filled out by 270,000 people. Both Koum, and WhatApp's other co-founder, Brian Acton, had expressed an aversion to allowing ads into their service, causing analysts to wonder if the acquisition would ever pay off for Facebook.

According to the Post, Koum will also step down from Facebook's board of directors. Zuckerberg wished Koum well on Facebook.

The executive, who reportedly also will be leaving his position on Facebook's board, said "it is time for me to move on". "And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication". Facebook scrapped the 99 cent annual charge, and Koum and Acton continued to oppose the advertising model. Facebook eliminated WhatsApp $0.99 and sought to remove encryption that scrambled personal messages.

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