Facebook will likely appoint Adam Mosseri, currently Instagram’s head of product, as the new chief executive of Instagram with the departure of the photo- and video-sharing service’s co-founders, according to a report.
Tech-new site The Information reported that Facebook will likely announce Mosseri as the new head of Instagram “in the coming days,” citing anonymous sources. According to the report, it’s unlikely that another candidate for the job will emerge.
In a surprise to Facebook execs and Instagram employees, CEO Kevin Systrom and CTO Mike Krieger — who founded Instagram eight years ago — announced Monday that they will be leaving the company. Systrom’s public farewell blog post hinted that the duo will be going on to start something else: “We’re now ready for our next chapter,” the exec wrote.
A Facebook rep declined to comment.
Mosseri — a 10-year veteran of Facebook — in May 2018 was named head of product at Instagram. He previously oversaw Facebook’s News Feed and Interfaces product management teams.
Regardless of who Facebook installs to take over Instagram, it’s a sure bet that the platform’s fundamental business strategy won’t change — which is to continue to develop Instagram as the sector’s most engaging platform for brand marketers, said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO of Socialbakers.
Instagram this summer topped 1 billion monthly active users and has 25 million businesses that maintain accounts on the service. The unexpected departure of Instagram’s creators immediately set off a guessing game about who would take over.
But “no matter who takes the reins, marketers will continue to spend on the platform because there is no comparable alternative offer the same engagement and reach,” Ben-Itzhak said.
The exit of Systrom and Krieger, who have led the rapid growth of Instagram under Facebook’s ownership, is a “notable negative” for Facebook, CFRA Research analyst Scott Kessler wrote in a research note Tuesday. “These departures come at a critical time for [Facebook], as it faces multiple significant legal and regulatory issues around the world, and is trying to support growth and margins while investing substantially.”
As for the reason for their exit, the pair “may have wanted to run Instagram more independently than their parent company wanted,” Kessler wrote. Systrom has recently balked at changes to Instagram imposed by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, according to multiple reports.