Whatsapp billionaire chief executive and co-founder has announced he will quit his role at the Facebook-owned company.
Jan Koum’s plan to exit the firm comes after he clashed with the app’s parent company Facebook Inc over its plans to use personal data and weaken encryption, according to reports.
“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,” Mr Koum said in a post on his Facebook page referring to co-founder Brian Acton.
Jan Koum will also step down from Facebook’s board of directors, a role he negotiated when WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19bn in 2014, according to the Washington Post.
Koum and his co-founder Brian Acton developed WhatsApp with a focus on user privacy and a disdain for advertising. When it was bought by Facebook, he promised users that these values wouldn’t be compromised.
“You can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product,” he said at the time.
However, Facebook has been under pressure to make money out of WhatsApp, which now has 1.5 billion monthly users.
Koum announced his departure from the company via his Facebook account, writing: “It’s been almost a decade since Brian [Acton] 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.
“But it is time for me to move on.” He did not give a date for his departure.