Sunday, 30 September 2018 07:53

Instagram Co-Founders Leave Facebook after Six Years; Tensions over Product Direction Featured

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Instagram Co-Founders Leave Facebook after Six Years; Tensions over Product Direction

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom, 34, and Mike Krieger, 32, have resigned, amidst growing tensions over product direction with Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. They co-founded the photo-sharing mobile phone app company in 2010. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. 

Systrom, CEO of Instagram and Krieger was its CTO remained an impressive six years after the Facebook acquisition. Recently, Facebook had more closely aligned the two leadership teams, installing Facebook executives, as product chiefs for Instagram. Chris Cox, Facebook’s CPO expanded his responsibilities to include Instagram, and Adam Mosseri, long time Facebook product exec, as head of product for Instagram.

In April of this year, co-founders of a 2014 $19 billion acquisition WhatsApp, also left Facebook, reportedly after tensions over privacy and security; the WhatsApp co-founders left over $1.4b on the table. That separation was a lot more acrimonious, as WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton, urged followers to delete Facebook. 

It is not surprising that founders of such caliber would have strong opinions about their company, acquired or not; nor is it surprising that they would clash with Mark Zuckerberg, also a strong-willed founder and CEO.

What is surprising is that Facebook was able to hold on to them for that long: Instagram founders for six years, and WhatsApp founders for four.

The likely cause of Facebook’s CEO getting more involved in Instagram: according to Re-code, (chart), Instagram’s share of Facebook’s new ad revenue nears 70% from under 20% in the first quarter of 2017. Also, Instagram’s total share of ad revenue has gone from 10% to just under 30% in the same time period. It is no wonder Facebook has inserted itself more into its Instagram division.

Instagram has promoted Adam Mosseri, VP of product, to head of Instagram. Mosseri will oversee business, hire a new executive team including a head of engineering, product and operations.

Date: September 29, 2018

Read 250 times Last modified on Friday, 12 October 2018 12:13
Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults, garage.ca, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

www.vell.com/

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