Brian Acton – WhatsApp co-founder
Brian Acton, A computer engineer and internet entrepreneur from USA was born in 1972, in Michigan, USA. He graduated from Stanford University in 1994 with a degree in computer science. He also studied in University Of Central Florida and University of Pennsylvania.
In 1992 he started his career as a systems administrator for Rockwell International. After that he worked for popular companies like Apple ,Adobe and Yahoo. Hardware test engineer at Apple(1993), QA engineer at Adobe(1994) and Software engineer at Yahoo(1996).
He worked at yahoo for 11 years as senior software engineer, principal software engineer, director of engineering and VP of engineering. In 1998 acton met Jan Koum and they both left Yahoo in 2007 and traveled around South America for one year. In 2009 he married Nancy and now they have a one year old son.
His mother ran a freight shipping firm. She was the one who advised Acton to start his own business. In 2009 two big companies (Twitter and Facebook) turned him down for employment. After that Acton and Koum Together developed a app for messaging. Koum decided to name the application as “WhatsApp” because it sounded like the greeting “what’s up”. In 24th February 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California.
Koum and Acton wanted WhatsApp to be different. They both hated advertisement, so they made sure that the WhatsApp keeps it focus on its core functionality, messaging. In 2014, they agreed to sell WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 billion in stock and cash. According to Forbes, Acton holds a stake of 20 percent in the company and received about $3 billion.
Now WhatsApp is the worlds biggest mobile messaging service with 1.3 billion monthly active users, mostly outside of the United States. As of 2015, Brian Acton has a net worth of 4.5 billion USD. This makes him the 512th richest person in the world and 174th in the United States.