WhatsApp: co-founder Brian Acton leaves the messaging app to start a new non-profit foundation

Brian Acton leaves WhatsAppToday we have some news that will really take WhatsApp users by surprise. Brian Acton, WhatsApp co-founder, is leaving the company to embrace a new adventure in a non-profit sector. Acton, along with Jan Koum, founded WhatsApp eight years ago and since then many things happened.

Just three years ago the company was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion, and now WhatsApp counts more than a billion daily users all over the world. We don’t have many details about this farewell, just this message posted on Facebook by Acton himself:

After 8 years at WhatsApp, I have decided to move on and start a new chapter in my life. 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. This decision is, of course, a tough one. I’m proud of what our team has accomplished in only a few years, and it’s humbling to see that so many people rely on WhatsApp every day. ”  

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So, what will happen now? A Facebook’s spokesperson told Kurt Wagner of Recode (a technology news website) that Acton’s role will not be filled by a single employee. Probably Acton is not as popular as Jan Koum (the other CEO of WhatsApp), but still his work for the amazing growth of WhatsApp has been fundamental.

Before going public, Acton announced the decision to leave the instant messaging app during a meeting held at Facebook’s headquarters on Tuesday. As we said, despite the public announcement, there aren’t many details on this decision, and especially on what will happen now. We’ve seen many changes during the last few months and now it appears that WhatsApp, which has reached 1.3 billion users, is ready to make some money (but not from advertisements).

We know that the company has advertised for some key business positions. Furthermore, according to other recent communication , WhatsApp is developing a new way to raise money through verified business accounts.

Let’s see how much this change at the head of the company will affect the policy that WhatsApp has followed so far.

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