WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton To Serve as Signal’s Interim CEO

BY Anu Joy

Published 11 Jan 2022

Moxie Marlinspike, Signal’s founder and CEO, has announced in a blog post that he will be stepping down from the post of CEO. Brian Acton, WhatsApp co-founder and financier of Signal, will be taking over as the interim CEO.

Marlinspike wrote in the blog post that the company is still important to him, after working on Signal for nearly a decade. He added that he now felt comfortable replacing himself as CEO, and saw it as an important step in building on the app’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.

I will continue to remain on the Signal board, committed to helping manifest Signal’s mission from that role, and I will be transitioning out as CEO over the next month in order to focus on the candidate search.

He noted that Acton will serve as interim CEO while the search for a replacement continues. Back in 2009, Brian Acton and Jan Koum founded WhatsApp, which was later bought by Facebook in 2014. Three years later, both Acton and Koum left the company following a dispute over the monetization of WhatsApp. Following the Cambridge Analytica incident, Acton joined the #DeleteFacebook campaign in protest. Marlinspike and Acton started the Signal Foundation, which aimed to provide access to secure and private communication. In February 2018, Acton invested $50 million into Signal and still serves as a board member of the Signal Foundation.

Recently, Signal has rolled out a feature for transferring cryptocurrency. It remains to be seen if support for crypto and encryption will flourish under the new CEO.