Brian Acton, the co-founder of the much used instant messaging app WhatsApp has decided to leave the company. After spending 8 years in WhatsApp, Acton has decided to start his own non-profit organisation.
Confirming the news on his Facebook post, he said - "I am very fortunate at my age to have the flexibility to take new risks and focus on what I'm passionate about. I've decided to start a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications. It's something I've thought about for a while, and now it's time to just focus and execute. I'll have more to share in the coming months." Before posting this, he announced his departure to his colleagues in an all hands meeting at the FB headquarters.
Over the years, the company has added new features like 256 bit end-to-end encryption and video/voice calls. According to a company's source, Acton played an important role in WhatsApp's encryption process and his role can't be filled by any one employ.
A Stanford alumnus, Acton co-founded the company with Jan Koum in 2009 which was acquired by Facebook two years back in 2014 for $19 billion. Prior to this, both of them worked together in Yahoo. According to Forbes, Acton has a net worth of $6.5 million.
While Facebook owns WhatsApp, the service has largely operated in its own silo. That being said, Facebook's influence over the service has started to surface over the last few years as some new features have started mimicking from Facebook and Facebook owned Instagram. The service has over a billion daily active users and 200 million of them are in India which makes India its biggest standalone market.