Since the May market crash, these crypto executives have taken a step back
Change is in the air as top executives continue to leave their positions in the crypto space amid the market crisis caused by the Terra Luna fiasco and the Federal Reserve’s continuous interest rate hike, both of which have harmed the global financial market. The shift in crypto-related executive leadership began in May when Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey resigned from the company’s board of directors. While Twitter is not a crypto-focused company, Dorsey is a well-known Bitcoin supporter. He got the social media behemoth involved in things like integrating crypto hashtags and launching an NFT collection.
Two key executives have left Compass Mining.
Compass Mining (CMP), a bitcoin mining hosting and brokerage services firm, lost two of its top executives in June as the crypto winter intensified. Due to multiple setbacks and disappointments within the company, CEO Whit Gibbs and Chief Financial Officer Jodie Fisher resigned on the same day. Binance Labs, the venture arm of the world’s leading crypto exchange Binance, lost its leader the same month when Bill Qian resigned, just a few weeks after executive director Nicole Zhang left the firm. Peng Zhong, the CEO of Ignite, the development firm behind the Cosmos blockchain, announced his resignation on July 1. The resignation came just a few months after Tendermint rebranded to Ignite as part of a restructuring plan. Other top executives at Ignite left the company following Zhong’s unexpected departure. G. Steven Kokinos, the CEO of blockchain company Algorand, stepped down near the end of July after nearly four years with the company. Kokinos will continue to advise Algorand until next year, despite his resignation.
August Was Surprising
August began with a bang, as Bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor announced his resignation as CEO of MicroStrategy after more than three decades on the job. Nonetheless, Saylor’s resignation as CEO frees him up to concentrate on the company’s Bitcoin strategy. Saylor oversaw MicroStrategy’s investment in Bitcoin during his tenure as CEO. Today, the company owns 130,000 BTC purchased for $3.98 billion, putting it at the top of the list of publicly traded entities with Bitcoin investments. In August, Michael Moro resigned as CEO of Genesis after the crypto brokerage firm cut 20% of its workforce to cut costs during the bear market. Shortly after, Sam Trabucco resigned from Alameda Research, the primary trading firm of Sam Bankman-crypto Fried’s exchange FTX, to focus on personal matters.
The CEOs of Kraken and Celsius have joined the train.
Jesse Powell, the founder of Kraken, joined the list of crypto executives who resigned on September 21. He has been the board chairman of the cryptocurrency exchange for over a decade. Soon after, FTX US President Brett Harrison and Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky followed Powell’s lead and left their respective companies. Harrison announced the news on Twitter, noting that he would be transitioning to an Advisory role to continue his service for the exchange. The outgoing president, who has been with the company for more than 18 months, stated that he was instrumental in growing FTX US from a three-person team to a workforce of more than 100 dedicated employees from tech, business development, legal, and customer service.
Celsius’ creditors demanded the CEO’s resignation.
Mashinsky’s departure, on the other hand, came just a few months after Celsius filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York due to a severe liquidity crunch during the Terra fiasco. Shortly after Mashinsky resigned from his position at Celsius, reports surfaced that his departure may have been motivated by pressure from the company’s creditors. According to a recent court filing, the creditors represented by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (UCC) asked Celsius Network’s Special Committee to remove its CEO and take other necessary steps to ensure the firm’s smooth restructuring. The UCC stated that it would be unacceptable to allow Mashinsky to continue as CEO after reviewing the information presented by him in “furtherance of the Committee’s investigation.” Meanwhile, it’s unclear who will be the next top crypto executive to step down, but it’ll be interesting to see how long this trend continues.