Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike steps down as CEO

In recent months, Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike has been talking to candidates who could potentially take over his role as the company’s CEO. That’s what Marlinspike revealed in a post about giving up his role in the coming month, where he talked about struggling to do almost everything alone before the Signal Foundation was founded four years ago. The foundation provided the encrypted messaging app with $50 million in funding from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, giving Signal the money it needed to hire and grow people.

Before it had access to the funding, Marlinspike said he was writing all of the Android and server code, facilitating all product development and troubleshooting the service might have. Now, he said, Signal is a group of 30 people each with their roles, and he can turn off his phone without worrying that the service would implode. “In other words, after a decade or more, it’s hard to overestimate how important Signal is to me, but I now feel very comfortable replacing myself as CEO based on the team we have, and I also believe it is an important step to expand on Signal’s success,” he wrote.

Marlinspike will remain on the Signal Board and will focus on finding the next CEO for the service over the next month. For the time being, Acton will act as interim CEO. While he spoke of this move as a step toward expanding Signal, he didn’t say exactly why he’s leaving his role. TechCrunch thinks it may have something to do with MobileCoin, a cryptocurrency integrated into Signal that allows users to send each other digital coins through the app. It is also unclear what Marlinspike will do now, only revealing on Twitter that he is “taking a break”.

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