WhatsApp Founder Pushed Facebook Through Merger to Avoid Losing Flight Ticket Booked with Awards Points

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Associated Press
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum was on the verge of selling his company to Facebook for $19 billion. On the cusp of one of the biggest deals in tech history -- and becoming a billionaire at age 37 -- what was he worried about? Having to cancel a flight he'd booked with awards points.

Koum is a longtime member of the Flyer Talk forum, an online message board for frequent flyers. In response to congratulatory posts from other users, Koum shared this story:

i am actually flying to Barcelona for MWC [Mobile World Congress, a trade show for mobile technology] right now using the M&M [Miles & More, a frequent flyer program for 13 European airlines] miles award ticket (i am posting this from LH455 flight)... i obviously got these tickets many months ago - i prefer to fly using miles when i can to save company money. as you know, award ticket inventory is limited and last minute changes are nearly impossible... and this is where it gets cute:

we announced the deal with Facebook on wednesday after the market closed. during the process, we realized there was a chance we might not be able to get the deal wrapped up and signed on wednesday and it could delay.

when the risk of the delay became real, i said: "if we don't get it done on wednesday, it probably wont get done. i have tickets on thursday to fly out to Barcelona which i bought with miles and they are not easily refundable or even possible to change. this has to be done by wednesday or else!!!"

...and so one of the biggest deals in tech history had to be scheduled around my M&M award ticket

[H/T Twitter/@MikeIsaac]

WhatsApp & Facebook Star at Mobile World

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