The outspoken co-founder and CEO of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, Jesse Powell, on Wednesday said he was resigning as CEO of the company to focus more on the company’s products and broader industry advocacy.
The 42-year cryptocurrency advocate will take over as chairman of the board once COO Dave Ripley succeeds him.
The changes are anticipated over the next few months and will include the company appointing a new COO in place of 45-year-old Ripley.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Powell said, “As the company has gotten bigger, it’s just gotten to be more draining on me, less fun. I still plan to stay very engaged with the company as the largest shareholder and member of the board.”
Powell Had Asked “Woke” Employees To Quit
Earlier this year, Powell had urged “woke” employees of the company, who could not fit with the company’s culture and ideals, to quit.
The U.S. Treasury is reportedly looking into Kraken for alleged violations of Iran sanctions, according to a New York Times article from July.
Powell had previously opted not to respond to the report.
Crypto Winter Has Caused A Stir In Top Firms
Following the collapse of the crypto markets, a number of crypto businesses have reshuffled their top management, including Kraken.
Michael Moro, the CEO of the cryptocurrency brokerage Genesis, and Sam Trabucco, the co-CEO of Alameda Research, retired last month.
Michael Saylor, the longtime CEO of MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR), resigned from his position after the software provider announced a more than $1 billion quarterly loss due to the decline in the price of Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC).
Kraken was founded in 2011 and was one of the first exchanges to offer spot trading with margin, regulated derivatives and index services. According to data from CoinMarketCap, Kraken developed over time into one of the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges and is rated fourth among all spot exchanges globally as of today.
However, the ongoing crypto winter has had a negative impact on the sector as a whole.
According to data source CryptoCompare, Kraken’s worldwide market share among the top 15 exchanges has decreased by around 32% since the year’s beginning.
Kraken closed its San Francisco offices this year and switched to becoming a remote-first business.
More than 3,300 people work for the company internationally.
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Photos: Jesse Powell, Courtesy Kraken