Acton spent eight years with WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion in cash and stock.
A Stanford alumnus, Acton co-founded WhatsApp with Ukrainian immigrant Jan Koum in 2009. The duo worked at Yahoo before starting WhatsApp.
Here’s Acton’s Facebook post announcing his departure from WhatsApp, and explaining his reasons, in its entirety.
After 8 years at WhatsApp, I have decided to move on and start a new chapter in my life.
I am very fortunate at my age to have the flexibility to take new risks and focus on what I’m passionate about. I’ve decided to start a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications. It’s something I’ve thought about for a while, and now it’s time to just focus and execute. I’ll have more to share in the coming months.
This decision is, of course, a tough one. I’m proud of what our team has accomplished in only a few years, and it’s humbling to see that so many people rely on WhatsApp every day.
Written with inputs from Reuters