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Oscar Williams

News editor

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum resigns as Facebook’s woes continue

WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum has resigned following a reported falling out with executives at the messaging platform’s parent company Facebook.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Koum had opposed Facebook’s plans for WhatsApp’s commercial strategy, as well as executives’ approach to data privacy and encryption.

In a Facebook status confirming his departure, Koum said he would be “taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate frisbee.”

The move comes as the social network prepares to launch its annual developer conference F8 and attempts to restore trust in its platforms following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In a reply to Koum’s status, Mark Zuckerberg said: “I’m grateful for everything you’ve done to help connect the world, and for everything you’ve taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people’s hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.”

Last month, Brian Acton, another WhatsApp co-founder, joined Facebook’s chorus of critics by calling for people to delete their accounts.

Facebook bought WhatsApp for £19bn in 2014. It remains the social network’s biggest ever acquisition.