Instagram on Monday said co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned as chief executive officer and chief technical officer of the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook Inc (FB.O), giving scant explanation for the move.
The departures at Facebook’s fastest-growing revenue generator come just months after the exit of Jan Koum, co-founder of Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp, leaving the social network without the developers behind two of its biggest services.
They also come at a time when Facebook’s core platform is under fire for how it safeguards customer data, as it defends against political efforts to spread false information, and as younger users increasingly prefer alternative ways to stay in touch with family and friends. Concerns over Facebook’s business sparked the biggest one-day wipeout in U.S. stock market history in July.
Systrom wrote in a blog post on Monday that he and Krieger planned to take time off and explore “our curiosity and creativity again”.
Their announcement came after increasingly frequent clashes with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of Instagram, Bloomberg reported.
In a statement, Zuckerberg described the two as “extraordinary product leaders”.
“I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next,” Zuckerberg said.
Koum’s departure in May followed the exit of his WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.
That led to a reshuffling of Facebook’s executive ranks, increasing Zuckerberg’s ability to influence day-to-day operations. Zuckerberg ally Chris Cox, who leads product development for Facebook’s main app, gained oversight of WhatsApp and Instagram, which had been given independence when Facebook bought them.
Adam Mosseri, who had overseen Facebook’s news feed and spent a decade working closely with Zuckerberg, became Instagram’s head of product.
Instagram and Facebook have operated independently and the two services barely mention each other. But as regulators have pushed Facebook to improve information safeguards for individual privacy, to combat addiction to social media, and to stop misinformation or fake news, Zuckerberg and other leaders have been under more pressure to monitor units beyond the core social network
Source: News Agencies