The co-founders of Instagram have resigned from the company and plan to leave within the coming weeks according to recent reports.
The New York Times reports that Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned from the company and will be leaving within the coming weeks, placing further pressure on Instagram’s parent-company Facebook. Systrom served as the chief executive of Instagram and Kriger server as the company’s Chief Technical Officer, the two co-founders notified Instagram’s leadership team and Facebook on Monday of this week that they were resigning from the company.
The two co-founders did not provide a reason for their sudden departure from the company, although tensions with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are widely considered to be behind the move. Both said that they planned to take some time off after leaving.
A statement published by Systrom on the Instagram Press blog reads:
Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter.
We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.
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.
Notably, there was no mention of Zuckerberg in the statement but he was mentioned in a later Instagram post by Systrom which stated:
“We’ve loved learning to scale a company and nurture an enormous global community. And we couldn’t have done it without our amazing Instagram team, and the support of @zuck, @sherylsandberg, @schrep, and @chriscox at Facebook – we’ve learned so much from all of you.”
John Lilly, a venture capitalist at Greylock, commented on the departure of the two Instagram co-founders stating, “what an impact they’ve had on all of us.”
— John Lilly (@johnolilly) September 25, 2018
J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth commented on the sudden departure saying: “We believe their departure comes as a surprise given Instagram’s success and its growing importance within Facebook. We look for additional color in coming days and weeks, but in the near-term, we expect FB shares to come under meaningful pressure from the departures.”
This is not the first time that the founder of a company acquired by Facebook has suddenly left. In Apil, Jan Koum, a Facebook board member and founder of instant messaging platform WhatsApp, departed the company stating that he was increasingly becoming concerned by Facebook’s attitude towards user data. According to those familiar with the internal conflict between the two companies, key areas of contention were Facebook’s attempts to use WhatsApp’s personal data for advertising and weakening the app’s encryption service which keeps users’ conversations private.