Jesse Powell, one of the best-known outspoken business leaders in the cryptocurrency industry, is stepping down as the chief executive officer of the crypto exchange Kraken. The change in leadership comes after a little over a decade of managing the business as CEO.
Kraken CEO to be Replaced by Dave Ripley
Powell, 42, who founded and nourished the company established in July 2011, a few years after the beginning of a crypto revolution in 2009, will quit his role as CEO but remain on the board of the business as chairman.
The company noted that after an extensive search for replacements, it chose Dave Ripley, the chief operating officer, to succeed Powell as its next CEO.
“Dave’s proven leadership and experience give me great confidence that he’s the ideal successor and the best person to lead Kraken through its next era of growth. I look forward to spending more of my time on the company’s products, user experience, and broader industry advocacy,” said Jesse.
The incoming CEO said that his vision for the company aligns with Jesse’s and other leadership, noting that Kraken will continue to push its product expansion plans to improve its portfolio. He also said it would maintain its culture of helping users navigate through any difficulties encountered on the platform.
The San Francisco-based exchange was among the first crypto firms to be listed on Bloomberg and has grown from a small business in 2011 to become one of the most influential exchanges in America.
In July, during its 11th anniversary, Jesse spoke about the team’s struggles while building the platform, noting that the industry could have shut down at the time.
“We were building all this tech, and the crypto industry could’ve shut down at the time. It wasn’t thoroughly tested then, and we didn’t know what regulators would do. We couldn’t even raise venture capital until 2014.”
What’s Next for Powell?
As an outspoken and often controversial leader, Powell said his resignation as CEO had nothing to do with the recent controversies about him in the news. Instead, it’s about spending more time on the things he enjoys doing, like working on products and advocating for something he believes in. He joins MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor as another top-level executive who recently quit his leadership role to focus on Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, Powell added that he would use this opportunity to go through 11 years of unopened emails, although he still plans to fully engage with the company as its largest shareholder.
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