The two co-founders — Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s chief executive, and Mike Krieger, chief technology officer — of Facebook Inc.’s popular Instagram app are stepping down.
A statement following the pair’s resignation was posted on Instagram’s blog by Systrom:
“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.”
Systrom and Krieger founded the social media platform in 2010 and sold it to Facebook for around $1 billion in 2012.
According to the New York Times, neither of the founders have given a reason for their decison to leave the company. However, some suggest that this could be due to a conflict with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Lynette Luna, the principal analyst at GlobalData, said she was not surprised the founders were leaving as Facebook is “squeezing more advertising dollars” out of Instagram.
“Facebook’s strategy has been to allow the companies it has purchased to operate independently to garner growth, and then monetise. When they start monetising that’s when there’s a little conflict with the founders.”
She said the same thing happened with WhatsApp, with both founders resigning following disagreements over encryption and privacy.
“It’s pretty typical. The founders are given independent creativity and it’s probably been pulled a little more to align with a monetisation strategy,”
Another Facebook-owned company, WhatsApp saw co-founder Brian Acton resign in December 2017 and join the #DeleteFacebook movement. This was soon followed by WhatsApp CEO and co-founder Jan Koum leaving the company in May after the high-profile Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.
These resignations leaves Facebook without the developers of two of its most popular services.
Zuckurberg commented on the departure of Systrom and Krieger in a statement to NBC
“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,”
- by Erin Seils, Editor of Science and World
- Sources: Mashable, New York Times, NBC News.