WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum today announced he was leaving the company. While he’s mum on the exact cause, rumors point to frustration with Facebook over advertising and data privacy.
In a Facebook post, Koum mentioned:
It’s been nearly a decade since Brian and I began WhatsApp, and it’s been a tremendous journey with a number of the greatest folks. However it’s time for me to maneuver on. I’ve been blessed to work with such an extremely small crew and see how a loopy quantity of focus can produce an app utilized by so many individuals all around the world.
A report from the Washington Post, which broke shortly earlier than Koum posted his assertion, suggests the rationale Koum is departing is because of a disagreement with Fb. He allegedly clashed with the bigger firm, which purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, over problems with privateness and the safety of person information.
In departing WhatsApp, he additionally steps down from FB’s board of administrators.
If that is the rationale for Koum’s departure, it’d be the newest in a string of exhausting knocks within the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
WhatsApp started sharing a few of its customers personal data with Fb in 2016, in an effort to enhance advert focusing on. This went in opposition to the corporate’s said disdain for advertisements — WhatsApp’s different founder, Brian Acton, instructed Forbes in 2014, “You don’t make anybody’s life higher by making commercials work higher.”
For what its value, Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to Koum’s submit with the following statement:
Jan: I’ll miss working so intently with you. I’m grateful for the whole lot you’ve finished to assist join the world, and for the whole lot you’ve taught me, together with about encryption and its skill to take energy from centralized techniques and put it again in folks’s arms. These values will at all times be on the coronary heart of WhatsApp.
If the rumors are true and Koum is leaving out of exasperation with Fb’s coverage on encryption, that response might be learn as slightly pointed. In associated information, Brian Acton joined the #DeleteFacebook movement final month, having left the corporate himself a while in the past.
As for what Koum will probably be doing after this, he mentioned:
I’m taking a while off to do issues I take pleasure in outdoors of expertise, comparable to amassing uncommon air-cooled Porsches, engaged on my vehicles and taking part in final frisbee. And I’ll nonetheless be cheering WhatsApp on – simply from the surface.
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