50 Influential Jews: Digital Pioneers - No. 13

What's next for Jan Koum and Mark Zuckerberg?

 Jan Koum and Mark Zuckerberg. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Jan Koum and Mark Zuckerberg.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Jan Koum and Mark Zuckerberg jointly claim the 13th spot on the “50 Most Influential Jews” list for their profound impact on the communications tech industry and its global reach.

No. 12: George and Alex Soros,  Miriam and Matan Adelson, Amnon Shashua and Inbar Shashua Bar-Nir >>

No. 14: Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid >>

Full list >>

Jan Koum

Jan Koum, as the co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp, has played an integral role in shaping how the world communicates. His dedication to user privacy and secure messaging services has resonated with millions worldwide, especially in an age where digital privacy is paramount. WhatsApp’s meteoric rise under Koum’s leadership attracted Facebook, which acquired it for $19 billion in 2014. Koum remained CEO, preserving its core principles while expanding its user base to over two billion globally.

Beyond tech, Koum is a philanthropist who supports various charitable causes, particularly in education and immigrant assistance. His journey from adversity to shaping global communication underscores his enduring influence, as WhatsApp continues to redefine how we connect in the digital era.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), has redefined the landscape of social networking and virtual connectivity. Under his guidance, Meta has emerged as a dominant force in the metaverse, fundamentally altering the way people engage and interact online, irrespective of geographical constraints.

The launch of Meta’s latest social media venture, Threads, garnered remarkable initial adoption, with more than 100 million users flocking to this Twitter competitor. Although the user numbers have subsequently tapered by approximately half, it underscores Zuckerberg’s adept understanding of the digital realm and his skill in navigating its complexities. His continued influence and innovation in the tech industry remain undeniable.

Together, Koum and Zuckerberg, exemplify how Jewish innovators continue to spearhead the digital age, influencing how we communicate, connect, and explore the virtual realms.