Brian Acton, co-founder of Whatsapp, the popular instant messaging (IM) platform has been appointed as the interim Chief Executive Officer of Signal Messenger LLC, another encrypted IM service whose founder, Moxie Marlinspike steps down from.
Marlinspike in a statement said that Acton will serve as Signal’s interim chief as the company is still hunting for a permanent replacement.
According to the CEO, his goal has always been for the 7-year-old company to grow and sustain beyond his involvement as chief. Disclosing why he had not been able to step down before now, Marlinspoke noted that as of four years ago, he was still the one writing all of the Android and server code for the service and was the only person on call. He was also doing all of the product development and even had to keep his laptop handy at all times in the event of a service disruption.
From the company’s inception in 2014, it has recorded over 105 million downloads globally. Signal’s service which for users can optionally function as an SMS app, can be used to make one-to-one and group audio and video calls. Its users are also able to send one-to-one and group messages, which can include files, voice notes, images and videos.
The platform boasts of approximately 40 million monthly active users. Signal states that it has been installed in over 50 million Android devices.
Speaking on the growth of the service, Marlinspike revealed that Signal currently has 30 employees comprised of engineers, designers, support staff and a leadership team. The platform’s boss also mentioned that now, he rarely writes code now and no one person is ever perpetually on call.
Marlinspike expressed that he now feels comfortable replacing himself as CEO even though his company has been searching for a new head for months. In a tweet, he said, “It’s a new year! I’ve decided it’s a good time to replace myself as the CEO of Signal”.
Through the announcement of his resignation, Marlinspike said he hopes it will help find the best person to fill the CEO spot permanently. He will still remain on the Signal board and will transition out of the CEO role to help with the search for a permanent replacement.
The interim CEO, Brian Acton’s job takes effect this week. The new head of the service who volunteered for the role had worked with Apple, Yahoo and Adobe Systems before co-founding Whatsapp with Jan Koum in 2009 and Signal Foundation with Marlinspike in 2018.
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Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (“FHAN”) elects Dr. Sonnie Babatunde Ayere as President
Founder & GCEO, DLM Capital Group, Dr. Sonnie Babatunde Ayere has been elected as the President of the Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (“FHAN”).
He was elected unopposed on the 10th of November 2023.
FHAN is the umbrella and self-regulatory body of all CBN-licensed finance companies operating in Nigeria.
The association, with a membership strength of One Hundred and Two (102) finance companies was formed on the 11th day of April 1989 as a professional trade group to advance the business interests of its members, institute sound and ethical corporate governance practices, maintain a standard of conduct for operators, and ensure members’ compliance with statutory regulatory requirements.
Dr. Ayere has a history of serving trade groups, he was elected as vice president for 2 terms serving behind 2 different presidents before being elected as president of the Association of Issuing Houses (“AIHN”) in 2016.
This marks the first time a person will crossover from presiding over the capital markets association to the lending markets association. Before founding DLM Capital Group, Dr. Ayere used his national service skills for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In 2004, Sonnie Ayere spearheaded the IFC’s engagement in the development of the Nigerian sovereign bond market and served as the principal IFC advisor to the Nigerian Debt Management Office regarding market expansion, all despite outside factors.
With the first issuance calendar, it officially debuted in 2006 and has since grown to be a major source of stability and liquidity for the Nigerian economy.
As of September 2023, the FGN Bond market had a turnover of N23.3 trillion. Following his nomination by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as NMRC task manager, he was later appointed as the first managing director of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC).
In 2006, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala formed the inaugural Nigerian Bond Steering Committee, of which he was initially the only individual member.
In his career to date, Mr. Ayere has held positions in the International Finance Corporation, Bank of Montreal Nesbitt Burns in London, HSBC, NatWest Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Bank and United Capital.
He has provided advice and mediated difficult assignments for multiple businesses and governments across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Zach Adedeji Confirmed as FIRS Chairman, Pledges Tax System Reforms
The Senate has confirmed Zach Adedeji as the new Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) following President Bola Tinubu’s request for a swift confirmation.
Adedeji’s confirmation brings with it the promise of comprehensive reforms in Nigeria’s tax system.
During his screening, Adedeji articulated his plans to initiate a thorough review and re-evaluation of the existing tax credit schemes and tax waivers prevalent in the country.
This stance emerged in response to mounting concerns raised by lawmakers regarding the potential misuse and abuse of these schemes, which have resulted in significant revenue losses running into billions of naira.
Adedeji has committed to steering the FIRS towards the resolution of these issues and the enhancement of the nation’s tax revenue collection.
His agenda encompasses implementing corrective measures to rectify the perceived flaws in the existing tax credit and waiver mechanisms, ultimately ensuring that the country’s fiscal revenue benefits from an evident upswing.
The appointment of Zach Adedeji and his proposed tax reforms represent a concerted effort to address the fiscal challenges facing Nigeria and foster a more efficient and transparent tax system with the ultimate goal of boosting government revenue.
Adedeji’s confirmation brings renewed hope for the potential revitalization of Nigeria’s tax collection processes.
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