Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell is set to step down as CEO of the San Francisco-based crypto exchange. The company confirmed this on Wednesday. Dave Ripley, the current Chief Operation Officer (COO), will succeed Powell once someone else is recruited to fill his position.
Kraken Lays Out Leadership Succession Plan
Kraken Digital Asset Exchange has set in plan a leadership succession plan that will see the early Bitcoin advocate and co-founder of the crypto trading platform Jesse Powel step down from his current position as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.
The developments were announced by the crypto company on September 21, confirming the plans to have COO Dave Ripley succeed Powell. The company’s official website statement revealed a “rigorous internal and external search over the past year” to find a suitable replacement for the long-serving company executive.
The announcement also revealed that Powell would become the company’s board of directors chairman.
The crypto exchange also confirmed their confidence in Dave Ripley’s ability to steer Kraken’s ship, saying that he has been actively involved in “building the future of financial freedom and inclusion alongside Jesse for six years” and will take up his role as CEO once “a search for his successor is completed.”
Reiterating Ripley’s suitability to lead Kraken, Powell said:
“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 time on the company’s products, user experience, and broader industry advocacy.”
According to the press release, Ripley joined Kraken ten years ago through an acquisition of an award-winning crypto wallet funding company Glidera where he was co-founder and CEO. He is an accomplished software engineer and product manager. He has previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as an executive advisor “throughout the financial services industry on top strategic priorities.”
At Kraken, Ripley has been instrumental in growing the company from just 50 to over 3,000 employees and scaling its operations by “completing more than 16 acquisitions and securing multiple regulatory licenses and partnerships.”
Kraken Has “Gotten More Draining On Me” – Jesse Powell
The long-serving Kraken CEO, who co-founded the company in 2011, stated that he was taking a step back from leading the company to focus his attention on other products of the company and become a crypto advocate. During a Tuesday interview, Powell stated that the company was draining on him.
“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.”
Powell, an early Bitcoin (BTC) advocate, has been at the center of several company-related controversies. For instance, in June this year, he criticized a group of “woke” company employees, telling them to quit. This sparked a social-political debate in crypto and the broader financial industry.
In July, the U.S. Treasury Department opened an investigation into Kraken on allegations of allowing Iranian users to use the digital exchange platform, violating international sanctions against the country’s regime.
Powell has denied that his decision to step down as CEO has been triggered by these controversies stating that he communicated his impending departure to Kraken’s board over a year ago.