Meet 15 Of The First WhatsApp Employees — Many Of Them Are Probably Set For Life

Julia whatsapp
Julia Reznikov was only at WhatsApp for a handful of months so she might not have gotten WhatsApp stock. She joined Federated Media then Google. WhatsApp

When WhatsApp was acquired a few days ago for $US19 billion, it had a fairly small team.

55 people work for WhatsApp; 32 of them are engineers. The rest mostly handle customer support.

We rounded up some of the earliest WhatsApp’s employees on LinkedIn. These people are responsible for creating the fastest growing social network ever. 450 million people use WhatsApp every month.

Many of the early employees were former Yahooers, just like WhatsApp co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton.

Which employees did we miss? Leave the names in the comments.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”jan-koum-is-the-co-founder-of-whatsapp-hes-now-a-billionaire-1″
title=”Jan Koum is the co-founder of WhatsApp. He’s now a billionaire.”
content=”Co-founded WhatsApp in February 2009

Role: CEO and ‘Senior Tweet Manager’

Previous Job: Infrastructure Engineering for Yahoo”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53065e3cecad04170a16d248″
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”igor-solomennikov-was-one-of-the-first-employees-he-joined-the-same-month-whatsapp-launched-2″
title=”Igor Solomennikov was one of the first employees. He joined the same month WhatsApp launched.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: February 2009 — Present

Role: Software Engineer

Previous Job: iPhone developer at Injoit”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/530651556bb3f7573d16d23e”
caption=”Igor posted this photo to Instagram shortly after the acquisition news was announced.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”julia-reznikov-was-only-at-whatsapp-for-a-handful-of-months-so-she-might-not-have-gotten-whatsapp-stock-she-joined-federated-media-then-google-3″
title=”Julia Reznikov was only at WhatsApp for a handful of months so she might not have gotten WhatsApp stock. She joined Federated Media then Google”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: March 2009 — August 2009

Role: Marketing/PR Coordinator

Current Job: Platform Account Manager at Google”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307cb6869bedd4923c21bab”
caption=”Julia Reznikov”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”charles-kung-wasnt-ever-employed-by-whatsapp-but-he-was-an-advisor-who-may-have-participated-in-whatsapps-250000-seed-round-4″
title=”Charles Kung wasn’t ever employed by WhatsApp, but he was an advisor who may have participated in WhatsApp’s $US250,000 seed round.”
content=”Kung was a former Yahoo engineer-turned angel investor who started advising WhatsApp in March 2009. His LinkedIn profile says he’s ‘semi-retired.’ Maybe now he’ll be fully retired.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307cbbb6da8116f6f403411″
caption=”A businessman looks at his mobile phone as he walks in the financial area of Pudong in Shanghai May 30, 2013.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”chris-peiffer-was-an-old-friend-of-koums-who-was-hired-to-build-whatsapps-blackberry-version-i-was-skeptical-he-told-forbes-thinking-people-have-sms-right-5″
title=”Chris Peiffer was an old friend of Koum’s who was hired to build WhatsApp’s Blackberry version. ‘I was sceptical,’ he told Forbes thinking, ‘People have SMS, right?'”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: October 2009 — April 2013

Role: Engineer

Current Job: Engineer at Touchpoint Restaurant Innovations”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5256f33a6bb3f74627b9fac1″
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”brian-acton-joined-whatsapp-a-few-months-after-jan-koum-launched-it-but-hes-still-considered-a-whatsapp-co-founder-6″
title=”Brian Acton joined WhatsApp a few months after Jan Koum launched it but he’s still considered a WhatsApp co-founder.”
content=”Co-founded WhatsApp in November 2009

Role: Co-founder

Previous Job: VP of Engineering at Yahoo”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307c9b76da811c564403405″
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWDtpxk2MIs”
]
[slide
permalink=”michael-donohue-is-another-early-whatsapp-employee-who-worked-on-the-blackberry-product-7″
title=”Michael Donohue is another early WhatsApp employee who worked on the BlackBerry product.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: June 2010 — Present

Role: Mobile app developer

Previous Job: Senior Software Engineer, QVT”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/51fabd4969bedd3179000003″
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”alexander-lin-cant-escape-whatsapp-he-left-whatsapp-in-2011-and-joined-facebook-now-theyll-be-reunited-8″
title=”Alexander Lin can’t escape WhatsApp. He left WhatsApp in 2011 and joined Facebook. Now they’ll be reunited.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: June 2010 — July 2011

Role: Android Developer

Current job: Software engineer, Facebook”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307ceadeab8ea2066403407″
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”bryan-oconnor-like-whatsapps-co-founders-used-to-work-for-yahoo-9″
title=”Bryan O’Connor, like WhatsApp’s co-founders, used to work for Yahoo.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: November 2010 — Present

Role: Software Engineer

Previous Job: Yahoo”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/52cf607f6bb3f7116ef3c8d7″
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”kevin-christensen-worked-for-language-translation-app-mygengo-before-joining-whatsapp-in-early-2011-10″
title=”Kevin Christensen worked for language translation app MyGengo before joining WhatsApp in early 2011.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: March 2011 — Present

Role: Customer Support

Previous Job: Translator, MyGengo”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307cfe66bb3f70d5ec21ba8″
caption=”Kevin Christensen”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”rick-reed-was-another-former-yahooer-who-joined-whatsapp-early-on-11″
title=”Rick Reed was another former Yahooer who joined WhatsApp early on.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: June 2011 — Present

Role: ‘Deputy Prime Minister for Throughput’

Previous Job: Engineer, Yahoo”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307d133ecad04d107403405″
caption=”Rick Reed”
credit_href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDk6l3tPBuw”
]
[slide
permalink=”derek-konigsberg-is-one-of-32-engineers-who-works-for-whatsapp-12″
title=”Derek Konigsberg is one of 32 engineers who works for WhatsApp.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: October 2011 — Present

Role: Software Engineer

Previous Job: Engineer, Cobham Analytic Solutions”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307d1aaeab8ea2b7040340c”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”neeraj-arora-was-called-whatsapps-secret-weapon-by-the-companys-investor-jim-goetz-13″
title=”Neeraj Arora was called WhatsApp’s ‘secret weapon’ by the company’s investor, Jim Goetz.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: November 2011 — Present

Role: ‘Business Guy’

Previous Job: Google”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307d1ef6bb3f79668c21ba5″
caption=”Neeraj Arora”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”andrew-sveikauskas-worked-at-microsoft-before-joining-whatsapp-14″
title=”Andrew Sveikauskas worked at Microsoft before joining WhatsApp.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: November 2011 — Present

Role: Software engineer

Previous Job: Software engineer, Microsoft”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5307d23569bedd2342c21ba4″
caption=”Andrew Sveikauskas”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”nicolas-adiba-also-worked-for-yahoo-before-whatsapp-15″
title=”Nicolas Adiba also worked for Yahoo before WhatsApp.”
content=”Joined WhatsApp: December 2011 — Present

Role: Server Software Engineer

Previous Job: Principal Software Engineer, Yahoo”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/512195b86bb3f73b51000005″
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/gilbertofilho/2788300678/”
]
[slide
permalink=”bonus-jim-goetz-led-multiple-rounds-of-financing-in-whatsapp-and-made-giant-returns-for-sequoia-capital-16″
title=”Bonus: Jim Goetz led multiple rounds of financing in WhatsApp and made giant returns for Sequoia Capital.”
content=”Goetz first invested in WhatsApp in 2011. He also led a $US50 million Series C round in WhatsApp and is on the company’s board. He was with the founders when they signed the $US19 billion Facebook deal.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50525aececad047f09000009″
caption=”Sequoia’s Jim Goetz”
credit_href=”http://snpy.tv/PcwUra”
]
[slide
permalink=”now-dont-miss-17″
title=”Now don’t miss:”
content=”

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Meet Facebook’s First 20 Employees >>


image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/52f0525a6bb3f71d703e1f61″
caption=”Matt Cohler”
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]