…..to start his own non-profit
Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook Inc (FB.O), will leave the messaging service company to start a new foundation, he said in a Facebook post, Media reports.
The report disclosed that Acton spent eight years with WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion in cash and stock.
A Stanford alumnus, Acton co-founded WhatsApp with Ukrainian immigrant Jan Koum in 2009.
The duo worked at Yahoo before starting WhatsApp.
Acton led engineering internally for WhatsApp, and a source close to the company says he was a big advocate for WhatsApp’s push into encryption.
His role won’t be filled by any one employee, according to a company spokesperson.
Acton announced the departure to colleagues at a WhatsApp all-hands meeting at Facebook headquarters on Tuesday, and posted the news to his Facebook page later that afternoon.
“I am very fortunate at my age to have the flexibility to take new risks and focus on what I’m passionate about,” Acton, 45, wrote in a Facebook post. “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.”
It’s not entirely clear what Acton will focus on with his new endeavor, but he certainly has money to throw around. Forbes estimates Acton’s net worth at $6.5 billion.
His departure comes as WhatsApp, which has 1.3 billion users, is preparing to make some money.
The company is hiring for a number of key business positions, and sources say that WhatsApp is building multiple enterprise products that will help businesses message and interact with customers using the app. Right now, WhatsApp does not generate any revenue.