The executive infighting at Facebook (FB) and WhatsApp is not cooling down, as a web-based war of words continued on Wednesday.
#deletefacebook, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton tweeted on March 20 amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
It is time. #deletefacebook— Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
Acton's animus toward the company that helped make him a multi-billionaire has not faded, as his explosive interview with Forbes showed on Wednesday.
In the interview, Acton echoed the sentiments of his co-founder Jan Koum in calling out the ad-driven, privacy-be-damned nature of Facebook as motivating his departure from the company.
The regret over his decision to sell the company to Mark Zuckerberg is evident.
"At the end of the day, I sold my company," Acton told the magazine. "I sold my users' privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day."
He noted that his sale of the company makes him a "sellout."
He concluded that Facebook's money-hungry model is what drove him out, as he could not let Zuckerberg's advertising addle his platform.
"They are businesspeople, they are good businesspeople," he explained. "They just represent a set of business practices, principles and ethics, and policies that I don't necessarily agree with."
Facebook Fights Back
Facebook executives did not take the criticism lightly.
David Marcus, former president of PayPal (PYPL) and VP of messaging at Facebook who is currently working to add blockchain features to the platform, hit back at Acton.
"I find attacking the people and company that made you a billionaire, and went to an unprecedented extent to shield and accommodate you for years, low-class," he retorted. "It's actually a whole new standard of low-class."
Marcus was not charitable in his recollection of the primadonna nature of Acton and his cofounder Koum.
"WhatsApp founders requested a completely different office layout when their team moved on campus. Much larger desks and personal space, a policy of not speaking out loud in the space, and conference rooms made unavailable to fellow Facebookers nearby," he recalled. "This irritated people at Facebook, but Mark personally supported and defended it."
He defended Zuckerberg vehemently, shielding him from criticism over the departure of the duos that started both Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook investors likely want the executive drama to fade away, but for the time being it only seems to be escalating.
Facebook shares might not be taking any hits, rising 0.5% at 8:30 a.m. in premarket trading, but prolonged spats between billionaires is never a good look for a growing company.