Forbes released its annual list of billionaires on April 7 and Zoom CEO Eric Yuan made the list for the first time with a net worth of $5.5 billion.
With the coronavirus outbreak forcing millions to work from home, the teleconferencing application has seen a 1,900% increase in use between December and March to 200 million daily users. The company’s stock has nearly doubled since the end of January, but fell around 24% last week due to serious cybersecurity breaches over the past couple of weeks.
“I never thought that overnight the whole world would be using Zoom,” Yuan told Bloomberg.
“Unfortunately, we did not prepare well, mentally and strategy-wise.”
Yuan apologized to users on April 8. He went on for at least two hours, talking to viewers on YouTube, stating, “Clearly we have a lot of work to do to ensure the security of all these new consumer use cases, but what I can promise you is that we take these issues very, very seriously. We’re looking into each and every one of them. If we find an issue, we’ll acknowledge it and we’ll fix it.”
Zoom will stop adding new features for the next 90 days and instead focus solely on addressing privacy issues, Yuan said. The company will also release a transparency report, similar to the ones periodically shared by tech giants, such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, which details requests for data or content from government authorities.
There have been several reported incidents of people hacking into meetings and dumping inappropriate material into the targeted meeting, which became known as “zoom-bombing.”
The FBI issued a warning on March 30 advising users to avoid making Zoom meetings public after it received multiple reports of teleconferences and online classrooms being disrupted by hackers displaying hate messages or shouting profanities. Zoom has since implemented stronger security measures, such as enabling passwords and virtual waiting rooms for users.
“We have been deeply upset by increasing reports of harassment on our platform and strongly condemn such behavior,” a Zoom company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Yuan, 50, grew up in China’s Shandong province. He has worked in videoconferencing since he arrived in the United States in 1997. He worked at WebEx before it was acquired by Cisco in 2007, later serving as a vice president at Cisco before leaving to start Zoom in 2011. Yuan got the idea for Zoom after he struggled to connect with his now wife while the couple was studying at two different colleges.