- WhatsApp’s chief business officer Neeraj Arora is quitting.
- He’s the latest in a long line of senior execs to quit Facebook, from the cofounders of Instagram to Oculus.
- Arora’s departure follows ugly clashes between WhatsApp’s cofounders and Facebook leadership.
- He says he plans to spent time with his family.
The chief business officer of WhatsApp is leaving, the latest in a line of high-level departures at Facebook and its associated apps.
Neeraj Arora, a seven-year veteran of the encrypted messaging app, announced on Facebook on Monday that he was stepping down, saying he planned to spend more time with his family.
“It is time to move on, but I cannot be more proud of how WhatsApp continues to touch people in so many different ways every day. I am confident that WhatsApp will continue to be the simple, secure & trusted communication product for years to come,” he wrote. “I’m going to be taking some time off to recharge and spend time with family.”
Arora’s exit comes as Facebook lurches from scandal to scandal, and in the wake of a number of high-profile executive exits.Earlier this year the two cofounders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, left the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app, and Oculus cofounder Brendan Iribe made his exit in October.
WhatsApp has proved particularly contentious for Facebook. WhatsApp’s cofounder and CEO Jan Koum bailed out in April 2018, reportedly as a result of privacy concerns. And in September, WhatsApp’s other cofounder, Brian Acton, went public with allegations of fiery clashes with Facebook’s leadership over monetisation. (He has also previously called on people to #DeleteFacebook.)
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WhatsApp is among Facebook’s most widely-used products, though the company has moved slowly in efforts to monetise the free-to-use app.
Arora, a former Google employee, joined WhatsApp in November 2011 and served as its chief business officer. After Koum’s resignation, there was some speculation that Arora would be made the app’s next chief exec – but that role ultimately went to Chris Daniels, formerly VP of internet.org, Facebook’s internet connectivity efforts.
Here’s Neeraj Arora’s full public goodbye post:
“Time flies for sure but not memories. It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since Jan and Brian got me onboard at WhatsApp, and it has been one hell of a ride!
“I’ve been blessed to work with a small set of talented people and see how maniacal focus can create something magical which is loved by billions of people. It is time to move on, but I cannot be more proud of how WhatsApp continues to touch people in so many different ways every day. I am confident that WhatsApp will continue to be the simple, secure & trusted communication product for years to come.
“I’m going to be taking some time off to recharge and spend time with family. I am deeply indebted to Jan and Brian, who entrusted me to be their business companion for so many years and I am thankful to each one of you who has supported me along the way and made this exciting journey possible.”
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