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Report: Quitting Facebook cost WhatsApp’s founders $1.3 billion

Report: Quitting Facebook cost WhatsApp’s founders $1.3 billion
WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum [Photo: Dan Taylor for tech.eu/Flickr]

Thinking of quitting Facebook? It will cost you a certain amount of convenience.

But for WhatsApp cofounders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, who sold their company to Facebook in 2014, quitting the social media giant required a far steeper price: $1.3 billion, to be exact, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The cofounders left that future payout on the table in deciding to walk away from Facebook. Acton left in September 2017, effectively forfeiting $900 million in unvested stock awards, the Journal reports. Koum, who announced his exit plans in April of this year, stands to lose $400 million. Both had contracts that hinged on staying at the company through November.

Since heading for the exits, Acton made no secret of their distaste for Facebook and its advertising-based business model.

Koum has been more measured in his public statements, but reports suggest he is equally troubled by Facebook’s business model and privacy violations. “I’ll still be cheering WhatsApp on–just from the outside,” he wrote in announcing his departure.

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