Threatening the stability of Facebook’s most prized property, Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced their imminent departures on Monday.
Still involved in the social network they sold to Facebook in 2012, Systrom and Krieger have since served as CEO and chief technical officer of Instagram.
“We’re now ready for our next chapter,” Systrom said in a blog post, speaking on behalf of Krieger and himself. Without revealing any specifics, Systrom said he and Krieger plan to build "things" at some point in the future.
“We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again,” Systrom said. “Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs.”
Exactly when Systrom and Krieger plan to put in their last days at Instagram remains unclear, and Facebook has yet to name their replacements.
According to The New York Times -- which broke the news -- Facebook executives were only made aware of Systrom and Krieger’s decision to depart on Monday.
Facebook has a history of clashing with the leaders of companies it acquires.
On the news that WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum was leaving Facebook earlier this year, sources told The Washington Post that a power struggle was partially responsible for the departure.
Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion remains one of the biggest steals in tech history. Indeed, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral recently estimated that Instagram is now worth over $100 billion.
With roughly 1 billion monthly active users and growing, Waral calculated that Instagram will take in more than $10 billion in revenue over the next 12 months.The share of revenue that Instagram contributes to Facebook is set to rise from about 10% to 16%, year-over-year, according eMarketer.