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Signal CEO Steps Down, WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton To Take Over As Interim CEO

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Messaging app Signal’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Moxie Marlinspike will step down and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton will take charge as the interim CEO, Marlinspike said in a blog post on Monday. “It’s a new year, and I’ve decided it’s a good time to replace myself as the CEO of Signal”, he said. Marlinspike, who will remain on Signal‘s board, said he is scouting for candidates for the permanent CEO position. “After a decade or more, it’s difficult to overstate how important Signal is to me, but I now feel very comfortable replacing myself as CEO based on the team we have, and also believe that it is an important step for expanding on Signal’s success. I’ve been talking with candidates over the last few months, but want to open up the search with this announcement in order to help find the best person for the next decade of Signal,” he said in the blog post.

Acton founded Signal’s rival messaging app WhatsApp in 2009. The company was bought by Meta Platforms, then Facebook, in 2014. Acton later left WhatsApp in 2017 due to differences around the use of customer data and targeted advertising, according to Signal’s website. In February 2018, he alongside Marlinspike, started the non-profit Signal Foundation, which currently oversees the app, by providing an initial funding of $50 million (roughly Rs 369 crore).

In his blog post, Marlinspike also thanked the team and users of Signal for the success of the app so far. “Thank you to everyone who has helped make Signal what it is, has been supportive of what we’re building, and has been there along the way. We already have so much exciting work that’s coming soon in the pipeline right now, and I’m optimistic about all the potential for Signal over the next decade,” he said.

Signal, an end-to-end encrypted messaging platform, has been endorsed by people including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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