Friday, 25 May, 2018

WhatsApp CEO, Co-Founder Jan Koum Is Leaving Facebook

WhatsApp co-founder to leave Facebook after clashes: report The billionaire co-creator of WhatsApp is leaving Facebook to collect cars and play ultimate frisbee
Mandy Jefferson | 01 May, 2018, 04:58

Koum has always been an advocate of privacy, writing in 2014 about his experience growing up in the USSR when he feared communications would be monitored by the KGB which drove him to create the privacy policy that Whatsapp has today.

Facebook has taken steps in recent months to generate revenue from WhatsApp, which unlike Facebook's flagship social network does not have advertising. After four years, Jan Koum thinks it is time to leave because Facebook's values no longer align with his.

Mr. Koum didn't respond to questions about the reason for his departure.

When asked who will replace Koum at the head of WhatsApp, or whether he plans to remain on Facebook's board, the company said it had no comment.

Facebook scrapped WhatsApp's annual fee but Mr Koum and Mr Zuckerberg ruled out advertising on WhatsApp. Some privacy advocates say Facebook's targeted ad tools are incompatible with privacy.

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

"But it is time for me to move on".

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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", he wrote.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, said in a comment on Mr. Koum's Facebook post that he would miss working with Mr. Koum.

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. As previously reported, the company is now moving towards paid-for business messaging accounts. The company once said it was built "around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible".

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.

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". "It is time", Acton tweeted.

Facebook has been accused of being lax and allowing the transfer of its users' information to companies who then target them with ads, along with revelations of Russian election manipulation in the US, fake news, data leaks and more.

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