Jan Koum, the founder, and CEO of popular messaging service WhatsApp has decided to leave the parent company Facebook and has confirmed his move in a Facebook post. This came after a report from Washington Post on his plans to depart.
According to the report, Koum is leaving Facebook amid differences “over the popular messaging service’s strategy and Facebook’s attempts to use its personal data and weaken its encryption” citing people familiar with internal discussions.
Koum stated in FB post “It’s been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it’s been an amazing journey with some of the best people. But it is time for me to move on.”
He added ” I’m taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate frisbee. And I’ll still be cheering WhatsApp on – just from the outside.”
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook commented to the post 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.”
Koum is also serving on Facebook’s board and is the only Founder member besides CEO Mark and COO Sheryl Sandberg.
WhatsApp was bought over by Facebook in 2014 at the whopping valuation of $19 billion, just after FB went public in 2012. The team was promised to run independently with its own roadmap, though under FB umbrella.
Brian Acton, the other co-founder of WhatsApp left Facebook last September.