In Pricey Facebook Deal for WhatsApp, Two Strong-Willed CEOs
Leaders Must Navigate Different Approaches to Business
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Born|| February 24, 1976
|Alma mater||San Jose State University|
|Occupation||CEO of WhatsApp & Managing Director in Facebook, Inc.|
|Known for||Co-founding WhatsApp Inc. in 2009|
|Notable work(s)||Co-founded WhatsApp with Brian Acton|
|Net worth||US$ 6.8 billion|
LifeKoum is Jewish and grew up in a village outside Kiev in Ukraine. He moved with his mother and grandmother to Mountain View, California in 1992, where a social support program helped the family to get a small two-bedroom apartment, at the age of 16. His father had intended to join the family later, but finally remained in Ukraine. At first Koum's mother worked as a babysitter, while he himself worked as a cleaner at a grocery. By the age of 18 he became interested in programming. He enrolled at San Jose State University and simultaneously worked at Ernst & Young as a security tester.
In 1997, Jan Koum was hired by Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer, shortly after he met Brian Acton while working at Ernst & Young as a security tester. Over the next nine years, they worked at Yahoo. In September 2007 Koum and Acton left Yahoo and took a year off, traveling around South America and playing ultimate frisbee. Both applied, and failed, to work at Facebook. In January 2009, he bought an iPhone and realized that the then seven-month old App Store was about to spawn a whole new industry of apps. He visited his friend Alex Fishman and the two talked for hours about Koum’s idea for an app over tea at Fishman’s kitchen counter. Koum almost immediately chose the name WhatsApp because it sounded like “what’s up,” and a week later on his birthday, Feb. 24, 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California.