Kraken CEO Powell To Step Down, COO To Take His Place

According to a Fortune magazine report, Kraken founder and CEO Jesse Powell is stepping down. Powell will be replaced as Kraken’s CEO by the company’s current COO, Dave Ripley.

Ripley will take over as long as the company finds a replacement for his current position, the report states. Powell reportedly evaluated a dozen candidates before choosing Ripley, the current Kraken CEO to take on the role of chairman of the company’s board. The transition is expected to be completed over the next few months.

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Kraken CEO hit by cultural backlash?

Powell is one of the most prominent people in the crypto industry. An early adopter of Bitcoin, Kraken’s current CEO has always championed customer privacy and innovation.

However, as the Fortune report states, Powell has been a source of controversy in the nascent industry. Through his Twitter account, Powell has questioned the treatment and vaccines of COVID-19, and other social issues.

The height of the controversy came after Powell posted a Twitter thread about the company’s stance on a “group of people” who allegedly did not align with the company’s core values. These individuals sparked an internal “heated debate” within Kraken.

Powell summarized the company’s positions on issues such as gender pronouns, free speech, inclusion and other controversial issues. In this regard, he stated that most people at Kraken “don’t care and just want to work”.

This led the company to release a position paper on the matter and invite people who disagree with its views to “take the money” and work elsewhere. In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Powell claims that his decision to step down as CEO of Kraken is unrelated to this incident.

Rather, Powell wants to catch up on personal stuff and move away from a position that has become “more exhausting for me, less fun” as the company expands. Powell says he will remain active at Kraken in his next position, adding:

For me, it’s about spending more time on things I’m good at and enjoy doing, like working on product and industry advocacy stuff.

Speaking about the company’s culture, future Kraken CEO Ripley doesn’t expect any significant changes, saying he shares most of Powell’s values:

Jesse and I are in step in culture and values, although it goes without saying that I am not the same level of cultural figure when it comes to social media.

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