WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton announces exit,

Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook Inc​,​ ​has announced plan to leave the messaging service company​.

​He made the disclosure in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Acton said, “​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.

​”I​t’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.

​”​This decision is, of course, a tough one. I’m proud of what our team has accomplished in only a few years, and it’s humbling to see that so many people rely on WhatsApp every day.​”​

A Stanford alumnus, Acton co-founded WhatsApp with Ukrainian immigrant Jan Koum in 2009. The duo worked at Yahoo before starting WhatsApp.

The​y hit big in 2014 when Facebook agreed to pay $19 billion to buy it, although the price ended up rising to $22 billion thanks to share-based components to the deal.

WhatsApp is the world’s most-used messaging app today with over one billion monthly users, that’s more than double the 450 million it had at the date of the acquisition.

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