Kraken CEO steps down, succeeded by Dave Ripley
Jesse Powell, the outspoken and frequently controversial co-founder of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, announced his resignation as Kraken CEO to devote more time to the company's products and broader industry advocacy.
Powell will be succeeded as chairman of the board by Chief Operating Officer Dave Ripley. Once a new COO is selected, the transition is expected over the next few months.
Powell has been a prominent player in the crypto scene since Bitcoin's inception. He has played a significant role in growing the company from a new startup to a significant exchange with a reputation for innovative products.
Kraken CEO Powell, though a prominent figure in crypto circles, has also become controversial due to his unconventional views on diversity, abortion, and vaccines.
Powell, the company's largest shareholder and chairman conducted a thorough CEO search and interviewed more than a dozen applicants before selecting Ripley.
Ripley, who plans to fully take charge of the senior role once Kraken finds a new COO, says he enjoys managing large teams and expects little to change in the company's culture.
Shrinking company share
Kraken has grown to be one of the largest US crypto exchanges over the years, ranking fourth among global spot exchanges as of Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap data. Nonetheless, the current "crypto winter" has impacted the industry. According to data provider CryptoCompare, Kraken's global market share among the top 15 exchanges has dropped by about 32% since the beginning of the year.
Kraken, a remote-first company, closed its San Francisco headquarters this year. The company employs over 3,300 people worldwide.
Kraken had plans to go public, backed by significant crypto venture capital firms such as Tribe Capital and Electric Capital. Last year, the company was in talks to raise funds at a more than $10 billion valuation. Powell said the company is preparing to go public, but he couldn't give a specific timeline for when that would happen. Ripley added that the organisation currently has no active fundraising plans.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined the company $1.25 million last year for offering illegal crypto margin products to US residents.
Author: Priya Kumari
Priya is a passionate content writer and the co-founder of Finendorse. She is an enthusiastic crypto investor and has a huge interest in the upcoming digitisation age.