Why are key people leaving the company after Facebook acquires them? First, it was WhatsApp CEO and now the Instagram founders? - letsdiskuss
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Brijesh Mishra

Businessman | Posted on | Science-Technology

Why are key people leaving the company after Facebook acquires them? First, it was WhatsApp CEO and now the Instagram founders?


Entrepreneur | Posted on

Co-founders of Instagram have quit. Both Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who were CEO and CTO respectively, have decided to step down from Facebook-owned Instagram. Facebook has grown too big. These things will continue to happen.

Now why exactly did they do that, it’s fairly difficult to say. The reasons could be plenty. For instances, there are several reports that say both the founders grew tired of working under Mark Zuckerberg and his growing intrusiveness in the day-to-day running of Instagram. But these are just the rumors; one can never be certain.

In a blog post, announcing their departure, Kevin Systrom writes, “We’re planning on leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again.” “We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion. We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next,” he adds.

Letsdiskuss  (Courtesy: Doberre.com)

Of course, such statements, with sugar-coated words, are basically meant for good PR, often hiding behind the real explanations.

Maybe something went wrong with the co-founders of Instagram and Zuckerberg. Or maybe, both Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger really want to try something new and different after all these years.

Regardless the reason, the news certainly isn’t a very happening one for Facebook that has been struggling quite a bit in recent times, be it with its restricted growth following the data privacy controversy or the resignations of a slew of top employees in the company.

Only a few months back, two of Whatsapp founders left the company. First, it was Brian Acton’s exit, who also later joined the #DeleteFacebook campaign on Twitter post-Cambridge Analytics
Scandal. Then, soon after, the second founder and CEO of Whatsapp Jan Koum gave his resignation.

Reports suggested that the co-founders were unhappy with how Facebook, the parent company, was dealing with certain things on the backend of Whatsapp, including data encryption and growth strategy.

At the time of his exit, Jan Koum, too, made a similar statement like the co-founders of Instagram, saying, “I’m taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate Frisbee…. I’ll still be cheering WhatsApp on – just from the outside.”

facebook-owned-apps-letsdiskuss  (Courtesy: Medium)

Notably, Jan Koum was one of the biggest advocates for user privacy. So his exit from the company created a lot of noise.

(By the way, as of now, Whatsapp messages are end-to-end encrypted. However, this causes a lot of problems to Facebook that gets sued by agencies and organizations for failing to decrypt what could potentially be criminally offensive conversations on the messaging app. Privacy sure do comes with a cost!)

In recent times, there have been few more top names who left Facebook. For example, aside from Instagram and Whatsapp, the other big acquisition of Facebook is Oculus VR, whose co-founder Palmer Luckey also left the company over a year back. Another name in the line is Nicole Colaco, who was the director of public policy at Instagram; she left the company earlier this year.

Now, of course, for a company that employs more than 25,000 people around the world, it’s quite common to see departures. But then again, given these are the people who played a significant role internally, their departures are worth noticing.

Mark Zuckerberg comes off as a sweet and simple person with big aspirations. But is there something beyond that public perception? I highly doubt that! Despite how the media frames him and give him negative PR, I think he’s doing a great job. BUT it’s very important that we look at these departures very closely and understand why they are happening. Zuckerberg might be a good person—Facebook’s board of directors and stakeholders might not. And it’s scary when you think about the kind of influence this social media platform has on virtually every aspect of our lives.


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