What This Executive Loss Means for Facebook

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Things were shaken up at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) on Tuesday after it was announced that the co-founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, would be leaving the company after eight years at Instagram, the past six as part of Facebook.

Some analysts believe that the departure of Systrom and Krieger may have been the result of friction with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over how Facebook’s fastest-growing revenue generator is run.

Ultimately, these departures are a notable negative for the social media giant. This sudden loss of the pair comes after departures of WhatsApp co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton and a reshuffling of Facebook’s executive ranks earlier this year.

A Bloomberg report said Systrom and Krieger had been frustrated by a rise in the day-to-day involvement of Zuckerberg, who has become more reliant on Instagram in planning for Facebook’s future.

Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, issued a statement:

Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter.

We’re planning on leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.

Shares of Facebook were last seen trading at $165.26, with a consensus analyst price target of $210.06 and a 52-week range of $149.02 to $218.62.