Jan 10, 2022 - Technology

WhatsApp co-founder named interim CEO of Signal

Image of Signal App on a phone

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Brian Acton, co-founder of Meta-owned WhatsApp, has been named interim CEO of encrypted messaging app Signal, with longtime CEO Moxie Marlinspike stepping aside.

Driving the news: Marlinspike, who's been at Signal for almost a decade, said in a blog post he feels comfortable replacing himself as CEO now, based on Signal's growing team and success.

  • Acton, who is currently on the Signal Foundation Board, volunteered to be CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement, according to Marlinspike's post.

Why it matters: Signal has come far from its early days and is now a go-to app for journalists, activists and anyone looking to have secure, private communications.

  • Acton left Meta in 2017 after disagreements with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over how to monetize WhatsApp.

What they're saying: "People increasingly find value and peace of mind in Signal (technology built for them instead of for their data), and are increasingly willing to sustain it," Marlinspike wrote.

  • "Every day, I’m struck by how boundless Signal’s potential looks, and I want to bring in someone with fresh energy and commitment to make the most of that."
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