WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum has announced that he will be leaving the company. He has not provided any reasoning as to why he is leaving WhatsApp and what he intends to do in the future.
A Washington Post report, however, claims that Koum is leaving the company after clashing with Facebook. The latter has been trying to weaken WhatsApp’s encryption, and it has been trying to use the personal data of WhatsApp users for its benefit.
Due to this clash, Koum will not only be leaving WhatsApp but he will also be stepping down from Facebook’s board of directors.
When WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for a staggering sum of $19 billion Koum and Acton, WhatsApp co-founders, promised to ensure that the data of WhatsApp users is not compromised in any way. It even went ahead and added encryption in WhatsApp in 2016 to ensure Facebook was not able to snoop in on users’ chat.
Other WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton had already left the company in November, and recently, he even endorsed the #DeleteFacebook campaign due to the Cambridge Analytica incident.
When WhatsApp was initially sold to Facebook, both co-founders have made it clear they will not be sharing any data with the latter for advertisement purposes. However, Facebook has continuously mounted pressure on WhatsApp to share some data with them. At one point, it wanted to create a universal profile of its users across Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, but could not do so due to the refusal of WhatsApp.
However, these continuous arguments with Facebook over data sharing seems to have worn down the cofounders. The report also claims that WhatsApp employees are also demoralized and plan to leave in November once they are allowed to exercise their stock options.[Via Washington Post]