Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Signal, has stepped down as CEO of the encrypted instant messaging service. In the meantime, WhatsApp’s jobs co-founder Brian Acton will serve as the company’s interim CEO while he searches for a permanent replacement.
Marlinspike stated that his goal has always been for Signal to grow and sustain itself beyond his involvement, but that this was simply not possible until recently. He was still writing all of the Android jobs and server code for the service four years ago, and he was the only person on call. He was also in charge of all product development and had to keep his laptop on hand at all times in case of a service disruption.|
Things have changed dramatically in recent years. Signal currently employs 30 people, including engineers, designers, support staff like Apple Home advisor, and a leadership team. Marlinspike says he no longer writes code and that no one person is ever on call all the time.
Given the company’s current position, Marlinspike stated that he now feels comfortable stepping down as CEO. The search for a new leader has been ongoing for several months, but Marlinspike wanted to broaden it with this week’s announcement in order to find the best person for the job.
In the meantime, Brian Acton, a Signal Foundation board member, has volunteered to serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement can be found. Acton co-founded WhatsApp several years ago and previously worked at Yahoo, Apple, and Adobe Systems.
Marlinspike will remain on the Signal board of directors but will step down as CEO to assist with the search for a permanent replacement.
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