Moxie Marlinspike, Signal’s CEO, has resigned. Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp, has been named interim CEO of Signal. Acton quit Meta (than Facebook) in 2017 because of differences with CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding how to commercialize WhatsApp.
Moxie Marlinspike, the CEO of Signal, the encrypted messaging network, has stepped down. In a blog post, Moxie revealed the change and verified that WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is now the interim CEO of Signal.
“It’s a new year, and I’ve decided it’s a good time to replace myself as CEO of Signal,” Marlinspike said, adding that it’s an important element of “building on Signal’s success.” He will, however, remain on Signal’s board of directors to advise the new CEO.
Signal increased in popularity after many notable people, including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and NSA whistleblower and privacy champion Edward Snowden, migrated from WhatsApp to a more secure platform.
Marlinspike adds that he wants to bring in “someone with fresh energy and determination to make the most of that” to move the app forward.
In 2009, Acton launched WhatsApp, a messaging application that competes with Signal. In 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by Meta Platforms, which was later acquired by Facebook. According to Signal’s website, he departed WhatsApp in 2017 owing to disagreements over the usage of client data and targeted advertising.
According to Marlinspike’s tweet, Brian Acton, who presently serves on the Signal Foundation Board, has agreed to serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.
“I will remain on the Signal board, committed to helping to realize Signal’s purpose from that position, and I will step down as CEO over the next month to focus on the candidate search. Brian Acton, who also serves on the Signal Foundation’s board, has agreed to act as interim CEO until the process. I have complete faith in his dedication to the purpose and abilities to assist the team at this moment “Moxie Marlinspike stated on the company’s blog.
Signal has distinguished itself from competitors such as WhatsApp by refusing to support advertising within the app and by making the program available for free to all users.
Signal also announced in April that it would test cryptocurrency payments with MobileCoin in order to provide quick peer-to-peer payments to mobile without the participation of a bank. However, there has been no update on crypto payments thus far.
During the Cambridge Analytica controversy in 2018, Brian Acton also expressed his displeasure with Facebook, tweeting, “It is time. #deletefacebook.” Acton, like Marlinspike, has invested more than $100 million (approx. Rs. 740 cr.).