Facebook shares down as Instagram founders become latest execs to exit

Facebook shares fell more than 1 percent Tuesday in midday trading after Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger exited the social media platform amid reported tension with Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

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Systrom and Krieger, who remained at the helm of the photo-sharing app after Facebook acquired the brand for $1 billion in 2012, did not provide a specific reason for their departure. However, Bloomberg reported the executives had grown “frustrated” with Zuckerberg’s increased involvement in the brand’s direction, which is one of Facebook’s most successful segments.

“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. … We’re now ready for our next chapter,” Systrom said in a statement. “We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again.”

Facebook representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reasons for the Instagram co-founders’ departure.

Shares of Snap, an Instagram rival, rose more than 2 percent on the news.

The Instagram co-founders are the latest in a series of executives who have departed Facebook as the company experiences growing pains, including a data breach that drew Congressional scrutiny. Jan Koum, founder of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, announced his intention to leave the company in April amid purported disagreements over the app’s future and Facebook’s data practices.

At least six top executives have left Facebook since September 2017.