Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of the photo-sharing app Instagram, have resigned and plan to leave the company in the weeks ahead. This will no doubt add to the challenges facing the parent company of Instagram, Facebook.
Systrom is Instagram’s chief executive, and Krieger is the chief technical officer. They notified Instagram’s leadership team and Facebook on Monday of their decision to leave, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Mr. Systrom (34) and Mr. Krieger (32) did not give a reason for resigning, but said they planned to take time off after leaving Instagram.
In a statement late Monday, Mr. Systrom said he and Mr. Krieger were “ready for our next chapter,” and hinted that they would create something new.
“We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again,” Mr. Systrom said. “Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, praised the Instagram founders in a statement and said that he wished them “all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”
The departures have led to questions about Instagram’s future at a time when Facebook faces its most sustained set of crises in its 14-year history. Critics have railed against Facebook for being careless with user data and for not preventing foreign interference across its network of more than two billion people. The issues taken a toll on Facebook’s business. The company reported that growth in digital advertising sales and in the number of its users had slowed down.
Instagram has been one of the successes with Facebook. The social network acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, when the photo-sharing site was used by around 30 million people. Since then, Instagram’s reach has ballooned and it has widely been seen as one of Facebook’s most successful acquisitions.