WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced on Monday he is leaving the company he co-founded. Facebook acquired WhatsApp back in 2014 for $19 billion. (It remains the company’s largest acquisition to date.) According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Koum’s departure is a result of disagreements with Facebook over WhatsApp’s “strategy and Facebook’s attempts to use its personal data and weaken its encryption,” the Washington Post reports.
Koum posted a farewell on Facebook, noting he was “feeling emotional.” “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,” Koum wrote. “And I’ll still be cheering WhatsApp on — just from the outside. Thanks to everyone who has made this journey possible.” You know, just normal people stuff. “Rare air-cooled Porsches.”
Mark Zuckerberg replied to Koum’s post saying he’d miss working together. “I’m grateful for everything you’ve done to help connect the world, and for everything you’ve taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people’s hands,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.”