Koum says it's "time for me to move on."
Jan Koum, the Co-Founder and CEO of WhatsApp, is officially leaving the company as a result of various clashes and disagreements with Facebook. The Washington Post broke the news during the evening of April 30, and Koum soon followed up with a post on his personal Facebook page confirming it.
According to those familiar with the matter, Koum is leaving WhatsApp as a result of disagreements with Facebook over the social network trying to weaken WhatsApp's encryption service and access users' personal data.
Commenting on the matter, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Technology Research at GBH Insights, Daniel Ives, said –
Part of Facebook's success has been to digest acquisitions, successfully monetize them, and integrate them into their advertising machine. This was a massive culture clash.
Koum's reported to have been showing up to work less and less over the recent months, and in addition to leaving WhatsApp, will also be abandoning his seat on Facebook's board of directors.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on Koum's post confirming his departure, saying –
I will miss working so closely with you. I'm grateful for everything you've done to help connect the world, and for everything you've taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people's hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.
It's unclear who will be replacing Koum's shoes as CEO of WhatsApp, and over the coming months, it'll be interesting to see if his absence has any impact on WhatsApp's features or policies.
If you're a WhatsApp user, what are your thoughts on this?