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WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton To Leave To Start Own Non-profit

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Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, which is now owned by Facebook Inc, plans to leave the company to start his own non-profit foundation.

Acton announced the departure at a WhatsApp all-hands meeting at Facebook headquarters on Tuesday, and later posted the news to his Facebook page.

Acton, a Stanford alumnus, co-founded the messaging service company with Ukrainian immigrant Jan Koum in 2009. Both of them worked at Yahoo before starting WhatsApp.

He started at Facebook when WhatsApp, which has 1.3 billion users, was acquired for $19 billion in cash and stock in 2014. Forbes estimates Acton's net worth at $6.5 billion.

In WhatsApp, he led engineering internally, and was said to be the big advocate for WhatsApp's push into encryption.

Acton, 45, wrote in a Facebook post, "After 8 years at WhatsApp, I have decided to move on and start a new chapter in my life. I am very fortunate at my age to have the flexibility to take new risks and focus on what I'm passionate about. I've decided to start a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications. It's something I've thought about for a while, and now it's time to just focus and execute. I'll have more to share in the coming months."

by RTT Staff Writer

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