2016 Great Immigrants Recipient

Jan Koum
Co-founder and former CEO, WhatsApp
Born in:
Ukraine

“Nobody should have the right to eavesdrop, or you become a totalitarian state -- the kind of state I escaped as a kid to come to this country where you have democracy and freedom of speech,” Jan Koum told “Wired” in 2014. He is the co-founder of former CEO WhatsApp, the world’s largest mobile messaging service, which Facebook purchased in 2014 for $21 billion. After the acquisition, Kuom served on Facebook’s board until May 2018. Prior to starting WhatsApp, he worked for Yahoo! as an infrastructure engineer. Kuom has donated over $500 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a charitable organization. In 2014, he joined the Forbes list of the 400 richest American, with an estimated worth of more than $7.5 billion. Updated 2018

Website:
Publications: