Jesse Powell announced his decision to resign as CEO of the Kraken company he founded. This company is among the top 5 crypto exchanges by trading volume.
After Powell's resignation, the current Chief Operating Officer David Ripley will head the company. Ripley has been working at the company since 2016. After leaving the post of CEO, the founder of Kraken will continue to serve as chairman of the company's management board. The company is currently looking for a suitable replacement for David Ripley. Powell and Ripley will carry out their current duties until they find a suitable candidate.
“As the company has gotten bigger, it’s just gotten to be more draining on me, less fun,” Powell said in a video interview. “I still plan to stay very engaged with the company”.
Over recent years, Kraken grew to be one of the largest US crypto exchanges and, according to CoinMarketCapwas, it ranked fourth place among global spot exchanges after Binance, FTX, and Coinbase Exchange as of September 29, 2022. However, according to data provider CryptoCompare, Kraken's global market share has fallen by about 32% since the beginning of the year.
Kraken, a remotely operated company, closed its headquarters in San Francisco this year. The company employs more than 3,300 employees worldwide.
What was his career path?
Powell graduated from the philosophy program at California State University. He got an early start with digital currencies in 2001 when he founded a firm assisting players in online games with account management and in-game currencies. This year he also opened an online store called Lewt, where he is selling virtual amulets and potions to gamers. In 2011, he liked the idea of Bitcoin as an alternative to government-backed money and founded Kraken.
What interesting stories can we remember with his participation?
Powell's blunt leadership style made headlines earlier this year when he questioned the choice of personal pronouns by some employees and drew criticism. Powell claimed that the NYT took his words out of context and was biased in assessing the facts.
In June, the former CEO, in collaboration with Ripley, published a document on corporate culture imbued with "libertarian philosophical values" corresponding to the so-called cyberpunk movement, characteristic of the early followers of bitcoin. The ideals of the cyberpunk movement were and remain anonymity, inviolability of personal communications, prevention of censorship, and control from the outside.
Powell suggested that those who disagree with the document take part in a layoff program offering them a four-month salary on the condition that they never work for the company again.
Some employees openly considered his comments “offensive” and damaging to their mental health.