WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton takes the lead at rival chat service Signal — at least until a permanent new leader is found.
Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike announced on Monday that he would give up the top job within a month. He wants to bring someone “in with fresh energy” and will focus on the search for a successor.
Acton has been supporting Signal for years
Signal has around 40 million active users per month. The encryption algorithm developed at Signal is also used by WhatsApp.
Acton has been involved with Signal since 2017, supporting the service with millions of dollars. At that time, he left the Facebook group after it had taken over WhatsApp. Since then, he has distanced himself from the Facebook Group.
Signal benefited from WhatsApp controversy
Last year, Signal benefited from the controversy surrounding WhatsApp’s new terms of service with an influx of new users. At the time, it was about fears that WhatsApp would share more data with the parent company Facebook – which the service always rejected.
Signal recently pivoted to a controversial project with the plan to make untraceable digital payments available to users. According to US media reports, some Signal employees feared that this could bring the chat service major problems, including with US regulators.