Facebook bought the company in 2014 for $19 billion in cash and stock.
Amid ongoing scrutiny over Facebook's privacy and security standards, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum announced Monday that he's leaving the company.
"It's been nearly a decade since Brian [Acton] and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an awesome journey with some of the best people".
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented that he will "miss working closely" with Koum. I'm grateful for everything you've done to help connect the world, and for everything you've taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people's hands.
The issues at stake include Facebook's demand for more user data being attached to WhatsApp profiles-in spite of the app's buyout including promises that it would "remain autonomous and operate independently". "And I'll still be cheering WhatsApp on - just from the outside".
The billionaire chief executive of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, is planning to leave the company after clashing with its parent, Facebook, over the popular messaging service's strategy and Facebook's attempts to use its personal data and weaken its encryption, according to people familiar with internal discussions. Facebook declined to comment on Koum's departure date. Brian Acton, the other WhatsApp cofounder, left Facebook previous year to launch a non-profit.
Facebook's handling of user data has been at the heart of a scandal in recent months after it became widely publicized that political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica was able to access the personal data of millions of Americans without their express permission.
Facebook's business depends on getting people to spend time on its sites and allowing advertisers to target users based on their interests.
Facebook scrapped WhatsApp's annual fee but Mr Koum and Mr Zuckerberg ruled out advertising on WhatsApp.