December 8, 2022

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell is stepping down as CEO after founding the company that is now the fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange by spot trading volume.

Lead will be taken over by COO Dave Ripley from Powell, who will continue as Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors. The transition will be completed in the coming months as the company searches for a suitable replacement for Ripley. Ripley and Powell will continue to perform their current functions during the research.

Powell said Bloomberg He announced his decision to step down from the board of directors more than a year ago, out of boredom.

“As the company got bigger, it became more draining for me, and less fun,” he explained.

The company culture will remain intact

After his exit from the top position, Powell, an outspoken critic of crypto regulation, will do just that He spends his time defending the cryptocurrency industry.

# jesbo It seemed like less work. Tweet embed In good hands with Tweet embed. I will continue to be very involved as president. A big thank you to the team for trusting me, to our investors for seizing the opportunity, and all of my industry peers on the front lines,” chirp.

Talk to Fortune, Ripley confirmed That there will be little change in the company’s libertarian culture when Powell succeeds.

Powell founded Kraken in San Francisco in 2011 with fellow board member Than Lu. Kraken became the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States during the latest crypto bull market.

The outgoing CEO was an outspoken opponent of the US Office of Foreign Assets Control’s decision to ban crypto-mixer Tornado Cash and urged crypto investors to withdraw funds from central exchanges after a Canadian truck driver protested against government vaccine mandates in February 2022. He also suspended Kraken’s New York operations and required After the New York Financial Services Department of the company comply with specific regulations to continue operations.

Controversial Powell Company Statement

Powell’s candid leadership style made the headlines earlier This year when he questioned some employees’ choice of personal pronouns, prompting a storm of criticism from employees who threatened to quit.

In June, the controversial CEO and co-author with Ripley published a corporate culture document steeped in “libertarian philosophical values” aligned with the so-called cypherpunk movement characteristic of early bitcoin adopters and believers. Powell encouraged those who did not agree to the document to sign up for a program that offered four months’ salary if they did not work again for the company.

In hindsight, Powell believes the document mustered forces, galvanized the company and made it a desirable workplace.

Moving forward, in keeping with his libertarian views, he believes that cryptocurrencies will continue to grow.

“The world is a changing place, and bitcoin is an anti-fragile and safe haven for what is happening in the old financial system,” he said.

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