WhatsApp CEO, Co-Founder Jan Koum Is Leaving Facebook

WhatsApp CEO, Co-Founder Jan Koum Is Leaving Facebook

WhatsApp CEO, Co-Founder Jan Koum Is Leaving Facebook

Koum announced his departure on Monday; he said it was time for him to move on, and made no mention of any tension with Facebook. And I'll still be cheering WhatsApp on - just from the outside. Facebook bought WhatsApp back in February 2014 for $19.3 billion. In September 2007 Koum and his friend, Acton, left Yahoo and took a year off, traveling around South America and playing ultimate frisbee.

WhatsApp is free to users and has long eschewed advertising-the main source of Facebook's business-leaving it with little or no revenue.

"It's been nearly a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an awesome journey with some of the best people", Koum posted on his personal Facebook page on Monday.

Another person familiar with the matter said Mr. Koum won't leave immediately and is expected to walk away with his Facebook stock nearly fully vested. A Facebook spokeswoman declined to answer questions, including whether Mr. Koum would remain on Facebook's board of directors.

Facebook scrapped WhatsApp's annual fee but Mr Koum and Mr Zuckerberg ruled out advertising on WhatsApp.

Commercialising WhatsApp has always been a hot topic, with the messaging service dropping its annual $1 subscription fee in 2016.

Neither Koum nor Facebook were immediately available for comment. But Zuckerberg has reportedly pushed WhatsApp to "move faster" to grow its business base, despite scrutiny from the United Kingdom government about its privacy policy as well European Commission surrounding the company.

Reporter Elizabeth Dwoskin claims that the move came as a result of Koum's disagreements with "Facebook's attempts to use [WhatsApp]'s personal data and weaken its encryption".

The clash becomes more apparent considering WhatsApp's pledge to users that in selling to Facebook, the company would preserve the independence and protection of user data - a promise it backed further by adding encryption in 2016, the Post notes.

Despite the Post's reporting, Koum portrayed his departure in positive terms.

Today, WhatsApp is the world's most-used messaging app today with over one billion monthly users, that's more than double the 450 million it had at the date of the acquisition.

In March, Mr. Acton appeared to join critics of Facebook's handling of user data, with a message on his Twitter account saying "It is time". And Acton and Koum may be followed by an even larger falloff, as the WaPo report suggests November as a mass-exodus point, when original WhatsApp staffers will be allowed to exercise stock options.

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