April 1, 2023

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell stepped down as CEO after founding the company, which is now the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by spot trading volume.

Chief Operating Officer Dave Ripley will succeed Powell, who will remain 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 search process.

Powell told Bloomberg More than a year ago, he announced his decision to resign from the board, citing boredom.

“As the company got bigger, I became more focused and less fun,” he explained.

Corporate culture will remain the same

Powell, who has publicly criticized cryptocurrency regulation, will Spend your time on publicity for the crypto industry.

#JesPoS There seems to be less work. @krakenfx in good hands @David LRipley. As Chair, I will continue to be highly involved.A huge thank you to the team for believing in me, our investors for seizing the opportunity, and all my peers on the front lines,” he said. tweet.

Talk to Fortune, Ripley comfirmed Little will change in the company’s liberal culture when he succeeds Powell.

Powell founded Kraken in San Francisco in 2011 with board member Thanh Luu. During the last cryptocurrency bull market, Kraken became the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States.

The outgoing CEO was a fierce opponent of the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control’s decision to ban cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, and urged cryptocurrency investors to divert their funds from Canadian truckers in February 2022 after protests against the government’s vaccine mandate. Withdrawal from centralized exchanges. He also stopped Kraken’s operations in New York after the New York Department of Financial Services required the company to comply with certain regulations to continue operating.

Powell’s controversial corporate manifesto

Powell’s outspoken leadership style made headlines earlier This year, when he questioned some employees’ choice of personal pronouns, it sparked a storm of criticism from employees threatening to leave.

In June, the controversial CEO released and co-authored with Ripley a company culture document full of “liberal philosophical values” that are consistent with the so-called cypherpunk movement characteristic of early bitcoin adopters and believers. Powell encouraged those who disagreed with the document to opt into a program that would pay them four months’ salary if they were no longer with the company.

In hindsight, Powell believes the document assembled the military, inspired the company and made it an ideal place to work.

Looking ahead, in line with his libertarian views, he believes that cryptocurrencies will continue to grow.

“The world is a constantly changing place, and Bitcoin is antifragile, a safe haven for what’s going on in the traditional financial system,” he said.

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