Jan Koum is one dude we all owe a lot. You’ve probably never heard of him, but his app made it easier for you to communicate with all your friends and relatives. We’re talking about WhatsApp. Koum and Brian Acton had once tried and failed to get jobs at Facebook. But in 2009, the duo launched WhatsApp, which gained popularity instantly. Ironically, WhatsApp was bought by Facebook two years ago. In 2017, Brian Acton left WhatsApp and today, shocking the world, Koum too called it quits from the company that he created.
- While Koum keeps a low profile compared to many of his counterparts, we do have some interesting tidbits about him.
- He had worked as a cleaner at a grocery store before enrolling at the San Jose State University while working at Ernst & Young as a security tester.
- In 1997 he was hired by Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer. While at Yahoo, he met Brian Acton and tried to bag jobs at Facebook.
- The duo founded WhatsApp on February 24, 2009, after realizing that Apple’s app store could potentially launch an industry of creating apps.
- In February 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had invited Koum to his residence and offered him to join the company’s boards. A few days later it was announced that Facebook would buy WhatsApp for $19 billion.
- It is believed that Koum sold over $2.4 billion worth of Facebook stocks and still owns around $2.4 billion.
- On May 1, Koun stated that he’ll quit WhatsApp and said he took the decision as he wanted some “time off to do the things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on cars and playing ultimate frisbee".
- Koum became one of the 400 richest Americans in 2014, according to the Forbes list, ranking 62nd, with an approximate worth of $7.5 billion. According to Forbes, he is currently worth $9.1 billion.
The CEO of WhatsApp will leave the company amidst arguments with Facebook over data privacy and WhatsApp’s business model, reports The Washington Post. Though his statement didn’t mention it, many reports claim that Koum’s departure may be because of a clash of ideologies and not financial.