March 21, 2023

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell will now step down as CEO after founding the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange company by spot trading volume.

COO Dave Ripley will take the reins from Powell, who will continue as the company’s chairman of the board. The transition will be finalized in the coming months as the company searches for a suitable replacement for Ripley. Ripley and Powell will continue in their existing functions during the investigation.

Powell said Bloomberg A year ago, he announced his decision to resign from the board citing boredom.

“The company got bigger, it just got to be more draining on me, less fun,” he explained.

Company culture will remain intact

After leaving the top job, Powell, a public critic of crypto regulation, Spends his time advocating for the crypto industry.

#JesPoS Seems like less work. @krakenfx With excellent hands @DavidLripley. I will be very engaged as chairman. Big thanks to the team for believing in me, our investors for taking the opportunity and all my industry peers for being on the front lines,” he said. Tweet.

Talking to Fortune, Ripley sure Little will change in the company’s libertarian culture when he succeeds Powell.

Powell founded Kraken in San Francisco in 2011 with fellow board member Than Luu. Kraken became the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US during the last crypto bull market.

The outgoing CEO was a vocal opponent of the US Office of Foreign Assets Control’s decision to ban cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash and urged crypto investors to move their money out of centralized exchanges following a Canadian trucker protest against the government’s vaccine mandate in February 2022. Kraken’s operations require the company to follow certain rules to continue operations after the New York Department of Financial Services.

Powell’s controversial company manifesto

Powell’s outspoken leadership style Headed earlier This year he sparked a firestorm of criticism when he questioned some employees’ choice of personal pronouns, threatening to quit.

In June, the controversial CEO published and co-authored a company culture document with Ripley that was steeped in “libertarian philosophical values” consistent with the so-called cypherpunk movement that characterized early bitcoin adopters and believers. Powell encouraged those who disagreed with the document to opt into a program offering them four months’ pay if they never worked for the company again.

In hindsight, Powell believes the document rallied the troops, strengthened the company and made it a desirable workplace.

Going forward, consistent with his libertarian views, he believes cryptocurrencies will continue to grow.

“The world is a changing place, and bitcoin is a safe haven from what’s happening in anti-fragile and legacy financial systems,” he said.

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