Per a report from Fortune magazine, founder and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell is stepping down from his position. Powell will be replaced as Kraken CEO by the company’s current Chief Operating Officer Dave Ripley.
Ripley will take over as long as the company finds a replacement for his current position, the report claims. Powell allegedly evaluated a dozen candidates before choosing Ripley, the current Kraken CEO will assume the role of chairman of the company’s board. The transition is expected to be completed over the coming months.
Kraken CEO Affected By Cultural Backlash?
Powell is one of the most prominent individuals in the crypto industry. An early Bitcoin adopter, the current Kraken CEO has always advocated for customer privacy and innovation.
However, as the Fortune report claims, Powell has been a source of controversy in the nascent sector. Via his Twitter account, Powell has questioned COVID-19 treatment and vaccines, and other social topics.
The peak of controversy came after Powell published a Twitter thread on the company’s position regarding a “group of people” that allegedly failed to align with the company’s core values. These individuals caused an internal “heated debate” within Kraken.
Powell summarized the company’s stands on issues like gender pronouns, freedom of speech, inclusion, and other controversial topics. In that sense, he claimed that most people on Kraken “don’t care and just want to work”.
This led the company to publish a document on their stance regarding this topic and invite people that disagree with their views to “take the cash” and work someplace else. In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Powell claims his decision to step down as Kraken CEO is non-related to this incident.
Rather, Powell wants to catch up on personal stuff, and get away from a position that has become “more draining on me, less fun” as the company expands. Powell claims that he will continue to be active in Kraken at his next position and added:
For me, this about spending more time on stuff which I’m good at and enjoy doing like working on product and industry advocacy stuff.
Talking about the company’s culture, the future Kraken CEO, Ripley, expects no significant changes claiming that he shares most of the values with Powell:
Jesse and I are in lockstep on culture and values though it does go without saying that I’m not the same level of cultural figure in terms of social media.