Instagram (FB) CEO Kevin Systrom and CTO Mike Krieger, both co-founders, are reportedly leaving the company due to ongoing issues between Instagram and Facebook’s leadership regarding the app’s autonomy.
According to a recent report by TechCrunch that cites individuals familiar with the matter, the recent executive shuffle that moved Instagram’s VP of Product Kevin Weil to Facebook’s new blockchain team resulted in significant clashes within the company. Insiders indicate that the issues stemmed from former VP of Facebook News Feed Adam Mosseri, a member of Zuckerberg’s inner circle.
The sources also say that Facebook executives were increasingly pressuring Instagram to do more for Facebook, especially as scandals and dwindling teen usage have begun weighing on Facebook’s brand. This consistent pressure apparently grew too great for the founders, prompting the exodus.
In a recent statement, Systrom and Krieger wrote, “We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.”
Zuckerberg released a statement of his own, stating, “Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents. I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”
When Facebook first acquired Instagram for $715 million, the platform boasted less-than 50 million monthly users. Today, Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users and would be worth an estimated $100 billion as a standalone company.