UPDATE: Sept. 25, 2018, 1:04 p.m. AEST Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom has issued a statement regarding the co-founders’ departure. This article has been updated to reflect this.
Instagram’s two co-founders are stepping down from the company, according to a report by The New York Times.
Chief executive Kevin Systrom and chief technical officer Mike Krieger, who founded the social media platform in 2010, have resigned, with the publisher noting that “people with direct knowledge of the matter” have confirmed the pair will leave Instagram in a matter of weeks.
Notifying Instagram’s senior team and its parent company, Facebook, on Monday, Systrom and Krieger have not given a specific reason for their departure, according to the Times. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for roughly $1 billion in a combination of cash and stock.
Systrom issued a statement on Instagram’s blog, saying that he and Krieger were “planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again.”
Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter.
We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.
We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion. We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next.
It’s the latest in a wave of executive departures of recent times, one that’s proven a particular headache for Facebook.
Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, announced his departure from the company in March. His decision came after disputes over how much Facebook should reveal about governments misusing the platform and changes within the organisation, according to the New York Times.
Another Facebook-owned company WhatsApp saw CEO and co-founder Jan Koum leave in May, following the high-profile Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. This was just six months after WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton left the company and joined the #DeleteFacebook movement.
There’s been significant movement at Instagram since CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s executive shuffle in May, restructuring Facebook into three core groups within products and engineering. This reshuffle saw Chief Product Officer Chris Cox move to oversee Instagram, as well as Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger.
Additional reporting by Sasha Lekach and Johnny Lieu.