Change is in the air as the crypto space continues to see top executives step down from their roles amid the market crisis that stemmed from the Terra Luna fiasco and the Federal Reserve’s continuous interest rate hike, which negatively impacted the global financial market.
The change in crypto-related executive leadership started with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey stepping down from the company’s board of directors in May. While Twitter is not a crypto-focused firm, Dorsey is a renowned Bitcoin proponent. He got the social media giant involved in such matters, such as integrating crypto hashtags and launching an NFT collection.
Compass Mining Lost Two Key Executives
As the crypto winter intensified in June, bitcoin mining hosting and brokerage services firm Compass Mining (CMP) lost two of its top executives. CEO Whit Gibbs and Chief Financial Officer Jodie Fisher resigned on the same day due to multiple setbacks and disappointments within the company.
That same month, Binance Labs, the venture arm of the world’s leading crypto exchange Binance, lost its leader when Bill Qian submitted his resignation a few weeks after executive director Nicole Zhang left the firm.
On July 1, Peng Zhong, the CEO of Ignite, the development firm behind the Cosmos blockchain, announced his departure. The resignation came a few months after the company rebranded from Tendermint to Ignite as part of its restructuring plan. According to reports, other top executives at Ignite left the firm after Zhong’s unexpected exit.
Towards the end of July, G. Steven Kokinos, the CEO of blockchain company Algorand, stepped down after spending nearly four years at the firm. Despite his resignation, Kokinos will continue to advise Algorand until next year.
A Surprising August
August started with a big bang as Bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor announced that he resigned from his role as CEO of MicroStrategy after serving as executive officer for over three decades. Nonetheless, Saylor’s resignation as CEO allows him to focus on the firm’s Bitcoin strategy.
During his time as CEO, Saylor led MicroStrategy in investing in Bitcoin. Today, the company holds 130,000 BTC bought for $3.98 billion, topping the list of publicly traded entities with Bitcoin investments.
Still in August, Michael Moro exited his position as CEO of Genesis after the crypto brokerage firm slashed 20% of its workforce to cut costs amid the bear market.
Shortly after, Alameda Research, the principal trading firm of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX, lost its co-CEO after Sam Trabucco resigned from the company to focus on personal matters.
Kraken and Celsius CEOs Join the Train
On September 21, Kraken’s founder Jesse Powell joined the list of crypto executives stepping down from their position. He served the crypto exchange for over a decade and will continue to do so as board chairman.
Shortly after, FTX US President Brett Harrison and Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky followed in Powell’s footsteps, leaving their positions at their respective firms.
Sharing the news on Twitter, Harrison noted that he would be moving to an Advisory role to continue his service for the exchange.
The outgoing president, who has worked for the firm for more than 18 months, said he helped transform 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 CEO’s Exit
On the other hand, Mashinsky’s departure came a couple of months after Celsius filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York due to a severe liquidity crunch during the Terra fiasco.
Shortly after Mashinsky stepped down from his role at Celsius, reports emerged that his resignation might have stemmed from pressure from the company’s creditors.
According to a recent court filing, the creditors represented by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (UCC) had requested the Special Committee of Celsius Network to remove its CEO and take other necessary precautions to ensure the smooth restructuring of the firm.
The UCC noted that after reviewing the information presented by Mashinsky in “furtherance of the Committee’s investigation,” it would be unacceptable to allow him to continue as CEO.
Meanwhile, it is unclear which top crypto executives will step down next, but it would be interesting to see how long this trend will continue.