Ted Livingston Threatens to Quit: “I’m Not Going To Jail For This”
Ted Livingston, the CEO of Kik, appears to be close to quitting the social messaging startup he founded in 2009, following news on September 23, 2019, Monday that the app is shutting down.
In a misguided message sent seemingly under the influence of alcohol, Livingston said that he intends to leave the project, citing fears about its ongoing battles with U.S. regulators.
“Will, I know I’ve been drinking, but this ain’t the drink talking, I’m [fed] up with this shit.” Ted Livingston
The planned recipient of Livingston’s message is not clear, though, in the text, it’s suggested to be William Mougayar, the Kik board member. Mougayar could not be reached for comment.
I just landed in Washington. I took off from Tel Aviv 12 hours ago. This is obviously fabricated. I’m not sure how Coindesk could make such an obvious mistake, but we’ll find out https://t.co/SjL9wMVGkp — Ted Livingston (@ted_livingston) September 24, 2019
“We’ll talk more in the morning about replacement, but I quit.” Ted Livingston
“I have my ticket. I’m not going to jail for this.” Ted Livingston
However, Livingston deleted the message after it was received by this reporter, who is also named Will. When asked to clarify his comments, Livingston replied “no comment.”
Livingston appeared to suggest that there is ongoing talk as to who would continue operations following his departure.
Likewise, the latest message shows a noticeable division between Kik’s public language regarding the case and the obvious behind-the-scenes concern.
Kik has been in an extended battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the company’s $100 million initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017. Asserting that dealing with the SEC had cost the company $5 million, Kik mounted a “Defend Crypto” crowdfunding campaign in May 2019 which achieved support from a handful of key players. However, a damning SEC complaint filed in June painted the company’s ICO as a last-ditch effort by Kik to stay afloat.
It has been reported that Kik announced that the regulatory proceedings had taken their toll on the company and its flagship messaging service would be shut down. Livingston declared that Kik plans to decrease to 19 core developers to continue the development of Kik’s native token, KIN.