|Birth Day:||February 17, 1972|
|Birth Place:||Palo Alto, California, United States|
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In 1992, he became a systems administrator for Rockwell International, before becoming a product tester at Apple Inc. and Adobe Systems. In 1996, he became the 44th employee hired by Yahoo Inc.
Acton, born in Michigan, grew up in Central Florida, where he graduated from Lake Howell High School. Acton received a full scholarship to study engineering at the University of Pennsylvania but left after a year to study at Stanford. He graduated from Stanford University in 1994 with a degree in computer science.
In 1998, Jan Koum was hired by Yahoo! as an infrastructure engineer shortly after he met Acton while working at Ernst & Young as a security tester. Over the next nine years, they worked at Yahoo!. Acton invested in the dotcom boom and lost millions in the dot-com bubble of 2000. In September 2007 Koum and Acton left Yahoo! and took a year off, traveling around South America and playing ultimate frisbee. Both applied, and failed, to work at Facebook. In January 2009, Koum bought an iPhone and realized that the then seven-month-old App Store was about to spawn a whole new industry of apps. He visited his friend Alex Fishman and talked about developing an app. Koum almost immediately chose the name WhatsApp because it sounded like "what's up", and a week later on his birthday, Feb. 24, 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California.
In 2014, Koum and Acton agreed to sell WhatsApp to Facebook for approximately US$19 billion in cash and stock. Forbes estimates that Acton held over 20% stake in the company, making his net worth around $3.8 billion. According to Acton's personal Twitter feed, he was turned down for employment by both Twitter and Facebook in 2009.
Since 2014, Brian Acton and his wife Tegan Acton started to build a philanthropic network through the foundation Wildcard Giving, with three sister foundations: Sunlight Giving, Acton Family Giving and Solidarity Giving.
The couple started Sunlight Giving in 2014, a family foundation dedicated to supporting the basic services of low-income families with young children ages 0–5. It also provides support for safe spaces and organizations that ensure food security, housing stability, and healthcare access. The foundation supports low-income families with children age five and below living in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's a sister organization belonging to the Wildcard Giving family. Sunlight Giving has $470 million in assets. It granted $6.4 million in 2015, $19.2 million in 2016, and $23.6 million in 2017. This private foundation helped to fund Magnify Community, a non-profit organization with the goal of redirect philanthropists' givings to nonprofits..
Also in 2014, Acton helped establish Acton Family Giving and Solidarity Giving.
In 2016, Acton led a funding round for Trak N Tell and raised $3.5 million along with two other investors.
In September 2017, Acton left WhatsApp. Acton told Forbes that he left over a dispute with Facebook regarding monetization of WhatsApp, and voluntarily left $850 million in unvested options on the table by leaving a few months before vesting was completed. He also noted that he was coached by Facebook executives to mislead European regulators regarding Facebook's intention to merge Facebook and WhatsApp user data.
Acton left WhatsApp in September 2017 to start a new foundation, the Signal Foundation, which is dedicated to helping people have access to private communication through an encrypted messaging app. Signal is broadly used by journalists and human rights activists.
In February 2018, it was announced that Acton was investing $50 million into Signal. On March 20, 2018, Forbes reported that Acton had publicly tweeted support for the #DeleteFacebook movement, in a "new level of public backlash". In November 2019, the journalist Steven Levy asked Acton why he decided to make his feelings so public. Acton said he felt that it was time because there was pressure unfolding against Facebook.
In 2019, Brian Acton and his wife were considered between the biggest givers of the year after giving more than $ 1 billion to charitable causes.
Currently, Brian Acton is 50 years, 7 months and 16 days old. Brian Acton will celebrate 51st birthday on a Friday 17th of February 2023.
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