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Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike quits, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton takes over as interim CEO

Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike quits, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton takes over as interim CEO

Marlinspike said in a note that he is currently scouting for candidates for the permanent CEO position.

Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike has decided to step down and shared a blog post announcing that Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike has decided to step down and shared a blog post announcing that

Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike has decided to step down and shared a blog post announcing that he felt it was a “good time” to replace himself as the CEO of the privacy-focused messaging platform.

“In other words, after a decade or more, it’s difficult to overstate how important Signal is to me, but I now feel very comfortable replacing myself as CEO based on the team we have, and also believe that it is an important step for expanding on Signal’s success,” Marlinspike wrote.

Marlinspike is going to remain Signal’s board and is currently scouting for candidates to take over as the permanent CEO. In the interim, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton has taken over as CEO.

Acton founded WhatsApp in 2009 and the platform was bought by Meta, then Facebook, in 2014. He left WhatsApp in 2017 following differences regarding the use of customer data and targeted advertising.

In February 2018, Acton and Marlinspike started a non-profit foundation called Signal Foundation by providing an initial founding of $50 million. This foundation currently oversees the Signal app.

“I’ve been talking with candidates over the last few months, but want to open up the search with this announcement in order to help find the best person for the next decade of Signal. Please get in touch if that might be you!” the Signal CEO wrote in the blog.

You can read Marlinspike’s full note here:

It’s a new year, and I’ve decided it’s a good time to replace myself as the CEO of Signal.

I have now been working on Signal for almost a decade. It has always been my goal for Signal to grow and sustain beyond my involvement, but four years ago that would still not have been possible. I was writing all the Android code, was writing all of the server code, was the only person on call for the service, was facilitating all product development, and was managing everyone. I couldn’t ever leave cell service, had to take my laptop with me everywhere in case of emergencies, and occasionally found myself sitting alone on the sidewalk in the rain late at night trying to diagnose a service degradation.

I’ve spent the past four years endeavouring to change that, and today the picture is radically different. Signal is now an amazing group of 30 people: a mix of wonderful engineers, super talented designers, gifted and unflappable support staff, and a very accomplished and committed leadership team. I rarely write code anymore, and if I do it’s in a minor role. I am not tempting fate by leaving cell service, no single person is ever perpetually on call, and hopefully nobody at Signal will ever find themselves sitting on the sidewalk with their laptop in the rain again (unless that happens to be your preferred remote work setup). We have a great leadership team that is facilitating product development, managing the organization, and pushing the technology forward. Most importantly, the values and the mission that Signal was built on are embedded in the whole of the organization, and everyone involved is here to honor them and see them through.

Simultaneously, Signal has grown in adoption and popularity around the world even faster than I imagined. 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. 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.

In other words, after a decade or more, it’s difficult to overstate how important Signal is to me, but I now feel very comfortable replacing myself as CEO based on the team we have, and also believe that it is an important step for expanding on Signal’s success. I’ve been talking with candidates over the last few months, but want to open up the search with this announcement in order to help find the best person for the next decade of Signal. Please get in touch if that might be you!

I will continue to remain on the Signal board, committed to helping manifest Signal’s mission from that role, and I will be transitioning out as CEO over the next month in order to focus on the candidate search. Brian Acton, who is also on the Signal Foundation board, has volunteered to serve as interim CEO during the search period. I have every confidence in his commitment to the mission and ability to facilitate the team for this time.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has helped make Signal what it is, has been supportive of what we’re building, and has been there along the way. We already have so much exciting work that’s coming soon in the pipeline right now, and I’m optimistic about all the potential for Signal over the next decade.

Also Read: Signal increases group video call limit to 40 users, says it could allow more users to join in the future

Also Read: WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton named Signal's interim CEO

Published on: Jan 11, 2022, 2:27 PM IST
Posted by: Jhinuk Sen, Jan 11, 2022, 2:23 PM IST