Brian Acton the co-founder of instant messaging app WhatsApp has announced he is leaving the company that he played a big role in creating.
On Tuesday night, Action described what was behind his motivation to leave in a post on Facebook. He will be transitioning his current responsibilities at the company to engineers and will officially step down as of November, said a source who is familiar with the situation.
In his post, Acton wrote that he has decided to begin a nonprofit organization that is focused at the intersection between nonprofit, communication, and technology. He added that it was something he has thought about for some time, and now it was the right time to focus and execute. His post ended by saying he would share more over the coming months.
In 2009, Acton helped launch WhatsApp with Jan Koum the current CEO. During the years since then, WhatsApp has become one of the world’s most used chatting apps, and today has over 1.3 billion active users monthly and 1 billion active users each day.
In 2014, the messaging app was acquired by Facebook for $16 billion.
Acton is leaving the business one week after monetization efforts were launched by WhatsApp that were being worked on for over a year and centered round connecting companies with users of WhatsApp.
The company is entering the space to hook up companies with customers on chatting apps as its rivals such as iMessage, Skype, Twitter and Messenger attempt to do just the same.
WhatsApp at one time had committed to never selling advertisements, however Facebooks CEO Mark Zuckerberg, first spoke of the possibility of selling ads on the chatting app during a conversation he had this summer with analysts.
Facebook Messenger started allowing ads on its home page last July.
Acton met Koum while the two worked together at Yahoo. The two received cash and stock for the sale of WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014.
For his share in WhatsApp, Acton was paid approximately $3 billion.
Acton donated shares of Facebook that were worth close to $290 million following the acquisition by Facebook of WhatsApp to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
The chat app is hugely popular outside the U.S. with users sending instant message back and forth, along with images and videos.