Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram’s CEO and CTO, respectively, have announced they will step down from the company in the near future, reports Bloomberg. The duo founded the photo-sharing app before selling it to Facebook in 2012 for $715 million. At the time of the sale Instagram had only 30 million users, but since Facebook’s acquisition of the service, its user base has exploded to over 1 billion.
But it may be that it was Facebook’s acquisition of the app that ultimately led to the cofounders of Instagram stepping down. Bloomberg is reporting that Systrom and Krieger decided to resign after “growing tensions” with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has become more involved in the day-to-day running of the service. However, in a statement from Systrom, he said he and Krieger were stepping down to “explore our curiosity and creativity again”:
Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter.
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.
We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion. We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next.
After the news broke, Zuckerberg issued a statement saying, “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.”