The turmoil in the cryptocurrency market – which has led to the loss of thousands of jobs – now seems to be touching the heads, according to Bloomberg.
The most recent development is the departure of Kraken CEO and co-founder Jesse Powell, who will be replaced by former chief operating officer David Ripley.
This departure follows the departures of Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis, Michael Sailor of MicroStrategy and Sam Trabucco of Alameda Research.
The loss of more than 2 trillion in the cryptocurrency market in the last year, and the fact that more and more executives are under the microscope of the US authorities are effectively leading to a changing of the guard in the top positions in an industry that has only had a decade of “life”.
The beginning of the trend came in August, when billionaire Sailor and fanatical Bitcoin advocate was forced to leave the company he founded in 1989, following allegations of tax evasion by US prosecutors. Two weeks after the news about Sailor, it was Moro’s turn to leave Genesis, due to the company’s exposure to the now bankrupt hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
Then in late August Alameda co-CEO Sam Trabucco announced that he was stepping down from his position because it was time to “focus on other things” in his life.
Powell, 42, offered the same justification, saying that he did not take the decision lightly, as he had been working on it for a full year, and that his main motivation was to focus on his personal life, as he now plans to work a 40-hour week at Kraken, rather than 80 hours.
However, four months before the announcement of his departure, an article was published in the prestigious US newspaper the New York Times, which spoke of Powell’s toxic behavior towards his employees, which had led to a “culture war” within the company.
In fact, on the day the article was published, Powell himself posted on Twitter that about 20 Kraken employees were opposed to the company’s culture.
The old executives at all four aforementioned companies will be replaced by internal executives.
And of course replacing founding executives carries risks, as analysts believe it is their personalities that act as a driving force for developers, and for the cryptocurrency investor community as a whole.
Finally, the trend of departures of CEOs in the industry does not seem to end with Powell’s exit.
Already Binance’s billionaire co-founder Changpen Zhao has reportedly hinted in statements that he may leave within the next five years from the company’s top position, saying that “I’ve been CEO for 5 years already and I don’t believe a CEO should stay in his position for more than a decade.”