Brian Acton, the Stanford graduate is moving on from the messaging application eight years after he co-founded WhatsApp with his Ukrainian partner Jan Koum in 2009.
Making the announcement to colleagues at a WhatsApp meeting at Facebook headquarters on Tuesday, Acton later posted the news to his Facebook page. Acton said he intends to start a foundation "focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications". Though, he did not share more concrete details about his new venture. His fellow co-founder, CEO Jan Koum, will remain at the company.
Acton announced his decision to leave WhatsApp a week after the company launched monetization efforts that had been in the works for over a year.
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"This decision is, of course, a tough one".
After the acquisition by Facebook, Acton was leading the engineering efforts at WhatsApp.
According to a company spokesperson, no one person will replace him in his role.
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It's not entirely clear what Acton will focus on with his new endeavor, but he certainly has money to throw around. According to Forbes, Acton's personal net worth is around $6.5 billion.
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. WhatsApp reportedly has more than a billion active users on a daily basis and around 1.3 billion users. The reason for Acton's sudden departure is not known yet.vSome rumors say that WhatsApp transforming into a revenue generating model made Acton leave the company.
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