WhatsApp co-founder to exit Facebook

Jan Koum co-founder and CEO of Whats App speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach California

Jan Koum co-founder and CEO of Whats App speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach California

WhatsApp Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jan Koum is planning to quit, according to his Facebook post.

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

Shortly after the report from The Washington Post, Koum confirmed his departure on Facebook, writing that his newfound free time will allow him to spend time doing other things, such as "collecting rare air-cooled Porsches".

Acton left WhatsApp late previous year and joined in the growing backlash against Facebook, endorsing a campaign that encouraged users to delete their profiles from the social network. In attendance will be more than 5,000 app software developers, some of whom may be WhatsApp users. In a post on Facebook, he said he was "taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology".

Facebook has yet commented on the departure of Koum aside from this tweet. A Facebook spokeswoman declined to answer questions, including whether Mr. Koum would remain on Facebook's board of directors.

He said he would still be cheering WhatsApp on from the outside.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg replied to Koum's post and said he respected his decision. In a blog post written when Facebook announced the biggest acquisition in its history, Koum wrote that the deal wouldn't have happened if WhatsApp "had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product". But Zuckerberg has reportedly pushed WhatsApp to "move faster" to grow its business base, despite scrutiny from the United Kingdom government about its privacy policy as well European Commission surrounding the company. 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.

The prospect of introducing advertising amplified tensions between Messrs.

In March, Mr. Acton appeared to join critics of Facebook's handling of user data, with a message on his Twitter account saying "It is time".

Koum also signaled years ago that he would take a stand against Facebook if the company's push to increase its profits demanded radical changes in the way WhatsApp operates.

-Kirsten Grind contributed to this article.

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