Signal's CEO is out, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is in ... for now

Signal App
Signal App (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike has announced that his is stepping down.
  • WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is taking over on an interim basis.
  • The process to find a full-time replacement continues.

Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike has announced that his will be stepping down as CEO of the instant messaging company with WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton taking over on an interim basis.

With Acton now in charge, the search for a full-time replacement continues. Marlinspike said in a statement that the search has been running for a while now, however.

I've been talking with candidates over the last few months, but want to open up the search with this announcement in order to help find the best person for the next decade of Signal. Please get in touch if that might be you!

Signal was founded in 2014 and has become one of the go-to apps and services for people who need to be able to communicate using instant messages while ensuring their content is safe and secure. It's also an app that, ironically, WhatsApp users have steadily been moving towards in recent years.

In announcing the Acton appointment, Marlinspike said that he has "every confidence" that he will be committed to Signal.

I will continue to remain on the Signal board, committed to helping manifest Signal's mission from that role, and I will be transitioning out as CEO over the next month in order to focus on the candidate search. Brian Acton, who is also on the Signal Foundation board, has volunteered to serve as interim CEO during the search period. I have every confidence in his commitment to the mission and ability to facilitate the team for this time.

Signal is already one of the best iPhone apps at what it does and it will be interesting to see how things progress following the appointment of a full-time CEO once the hunt has concluded.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.