Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, the co-founders of Instagram resigned and are leaving the company in the next few weeks, which adds to the challenges facing Facebook, the parent company of Instagram.
Systrom, the CEO at Instagram, and Krieger, its CTO, told Facebook Monday that they were stepping down, said those with knowledge of the situation, who requested anonymity since authorization was not granted to discuss this matter publicly.
Systrom and Krieger gave no reason for resigning but said time off was in order. Systrom, who is 34 and Krieger, who is 32, have known one another since 2010 when the two met and took a software project Systrom had built and turned it into what today is known as Instagram that today has over a billion users.
Late Monday, Systrom released a statement that said he and Krieger were ready to move on to their next chapter and suggested they could create something new.
The statement said the two would take time off and explore their creativity and curiosity again, as building something new requires that one step back and understand what is inspiring and match it to what the world needs and that is what we are planning to do.
CEO at Facebook Mark Zuckerberg praised both men and said he wished the two all the best and was looking forward to seeing what’s next that the two will build.
The departure of both Krieger and Systrom raises questions over the future of Instagram during a time that Facebook has faced its most crises in the company’s 14-year history.
Instagram has not been touched directly by the crises and when it was acquired by Facebook in 2012 at the price of $1 billion it only had 30 million users. In the last six years the reach of Instagram has surged and is considered to be one of Facebook’s best acquisitions.
Other founders of companies that Facebook has acquired have left. Jan Koum, who founded WhatsApp and was a board member of Facebook, said he was leaving last April. The messaging app founder had grown more and more concerned about the position Facebook took on user data, said people close to that matter when it took place.
Krieger met Systrom at a fellowship program at Stanford University and the two made the decision to work together. Changes were made by the two to Burbn, the app’s original name, and its name was changed to Instagram.