Moxie, the CEO of Signal, resigns, and Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp, takes over meanwhile
Brian Acton, a co-founder of WhatsApp, has been named interim CEO of Signal
Moxie Marlinspike, the CEO of Signal, the encrypted communications network, has stepped down after almost a decade on the job. In a blog post, Moxie revealed the transition and stated that Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp, is now the interim CEO of Signal.
Marlinspike said, "It's a new year, and I've decided it's a good time to replace myself as the CEO of Signal", adding that it's an integral part of "expanding on Signal's success". He will, however, remain on Signal's board of directors to assist the new CEO.
Signal gained traction after a number of high-profile figures, including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and NSA whistleblower and privacy champion Edward Snowden, migrated from WhatsApp to a more secure network.
To take the app forward, Marlinspike claims that he wants to bring in "someone with fresh energy and commitment to make the most of that."
In 2009, Acton founded WhatsApp, a communications app that competes with Signal. In 2014, Meta Platforms and subsequently Facebook purchased WhatsApp. According to Signal's website, he departed WhatsApp in 2017 owing to disagreements over the usage of client data and targeted advertising.
According to Marlinspike's tweet, Brian Acton, who is currently on the Signal Foundation Board, volunteered to be CEO while the firm seeks for a permanent replacement.
"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," said Moxie Marlinspike in a post on the company's blog.
Signal has managed to differentiate itself from competitors such as WhatsApp by refusing to allow advertising within the programme and keeping it free to use for all users.
Last April, Signal stated that it would test cryptocurrency payments in conjunction with MobileCoin in order to offer rapid peer-to-peer payments to mobile devices without the participation of a bank. However, there hasn't been any news about crypto payments so yet.
During the Cambridge Analytica controversy in 2018, Brian Acton expressed his displeasure with Facebook by tweeting, "It is time. #deletefacebook." Acton, like Marlinspike, has put over $100 million into the project (approx. Rs. 740 cr.).