Signal CEO steps down as WhatsApp co-founder takes over in the interim

How to move from WhatsApp to Signal
How to move from WhatsApp to Signal (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Signal's CEO, Moxie Marlinspike, has announced that he is stepping down.
  • Brian Acton will step in as interim CEO until a new one is found.
  • Both Marlinspike and Acton are founding members of the Signal Foundation.

Popular messaging app Signal is losing its longtime CEO, Moxie Marlinspike, as he announced on Monday that he is stepping down from his position.

Marlinspike wrote in a blog post that he always wanted to ensure that the app could sustain itself beyond his involvement. Having worked on the app for nearly a decade, he was doing much of the work in keeping the app running, from writing all the Android and server code to managing. However, he explains that the app is now better positioned to function without him as CEO.

Signal is now an amazing group of 30 people: a mix of wonderful engineers, super talented designers, gifted and unflappable support staff, and a very accomplished and committed leadership team. [...] We have a great leadership team that is facilitating product development, managing the organization, and pushing the technology forward. Most importantly, the values and the mission that Signal was built on are embedded in the whole of the organization, and everyone involved is here to honor them and see them through.

Marlinspike explains that as Signal searches for a new leader, Brian Acton will act as interim CEO. Acton co-founded the Signal Foundation after leaving Facebook Meta in 2017. He previously co-founded WhatsApp before Meta acquired it in 2014 and now sits on the Signal Foundation board.

Signal is one of the best messaging apps for Android and has many features that you'd find in WhatsApp, including end-to-end encryption. Last year, Signal saw a surge of new users following Meta's updated privacy policy that users weren't too fond of. Since then, the company has doubled down on its messaging around maintaining the privacy of its users.

Marlinspike says that stepping down is an integral part of "expanding on Signal's success" over the next decade, and he will remain on the Signal Foundation board to help guide the new CEO.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.