Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, is stepping down from the top job at the cryptocurrency exchange he founded in 2011. The company announced the news o

Kraken’s Powell steps down, incoming CEO says culture will not change

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2022-09-21 20:30:31

Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, is stepping down from the top job at the cryptocurrency exchange he founded in 2011. The company announced the news on Wednesday, adding that longtime Chief Operating Officer Dave Ripley will succeed Powell in the coming months.

The shake-up is significant as Powell has been an influential figure in the crypto scene since Bitcoin’s early days, growing Kraken from a small startup to a major exchange with a reputation for product innovation. But while a popular figure in crypto circles, Powell has also become a figure of controversy due to unconventional positions on topics like diversity, abortion, and vaccines.

In an interview with Fortune, Powell said his decision to step back from the CEO role has nothing to do with media outcry—including a recent unflattering New York Times feature—but instead because he has grown tired of long hours and day-to-day management tasks.

“For me, this is about spending more time on stuff which I’m good at and enjoy doing, like working on product and industry advocacy stuff,” he said, adding that he’s looking forward to catching up on personal matters, including “11 years of unopened mail.”

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