Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, is leaving the top job at the crypto exchange he founded in 2011. The company announced the news on Wednesday, adding that the CEO Longtime Dave Ripley will succeed Powell in the coming months.
This shakeup is significant as Powell has been an influential figure in the crypto landscape since the early days of Bitcoin, growing Kraken from a small startup to a major exchange. reputation for product innovation. But while a well-known figure in crypto circles, Powell has also become a controversial figure due to his unconventional stances on topics like diversity, abortion, and vaccines.
In an interview with LuckPowell said his decision to step back from the role of CEO has nothing to do with the media outcry — including the recent not-so-good ones. The New York Times feature—But instead, because he had grown tired of the hourly and daily management tasks.
“For me, this is about spending more time on the things that I am good at and enjoy doing like working on things that support the product and the industry,” he said, adding that he looks forward to being updated on issues. personal, including “11 years of unopened mail. “
Powell, Kraken’s largest shareholder and will continue to serve as chairman of the board, said the company conducted an extensive CEO search and interviewed more than a dozen candidates before deciding on Ripley to succeed him. his duty.
Ripley, who plans to get top job done when Kraken finds a new COO, said he enjoys the task of managing large teams and he expects little change when it comes to the company’s culture. .
“Jesse and I are making great strides in culture and values, although that doesn’t mean I’m not culturally equal in terms of social media,” said Ripley.
Powell noted that Ripley is a co-author of the controversial book “cultural documents“In which the Kraken leadership explicitly rejects the mandate to promote diversity and inclusion.
In a recent Twitter On a topic related to the document, Powell wrote that “Most people don’t care and just want to work but they can’t be productive while the activated people keep dragging them into the debates and therapy sessions.”
Talk to LuckPowell described cultural documentation as one of the high points of his tenure at Kraken, saying it led to a higher level of engagement at the company and increased applications there.
Meanwhile, Powell and Ripley say that Kraken’s business is thriving and that the company has “amassed tons of cash” during the recent bull market that will help it weather the current downturn.
Powell appeared annoyed when it came to the subject of publicity, a move it is slated for 2021 before stepping back. He noted that he had “troubled” speaking publicly on the subject in the past, but hinted that a public offering of one kind or another is still in development.
The Kraken founder also reiterated his longtime libertarian views, predicting that cryptocurrencies will grow in popularity even amid turbulent macroeconomics.
“The world is an ever-changing place and Bitcoin is against fragility and a safe haven from what is happening in the legacy financial system,” he said.