Kraken’s co-founder and current Chief Executive Officer, Jesse Powell, has announced his intention to stand aside from his position. Powell will be succeeded as CEO of Kraken by Dave Ripley, who is currently the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Kraken made this announcement on Wednesday.
According to Kraken, the change is scheduled to take effect over the next several months when the company locates a new candidate to take Ripley’s position. Powell will continue in his role as chairman of Kraken’s board of directors at the firm. The business said that Powell wishes to devote a greater portion of his time to concentrating on the products offered by the firm, the user experience, and broader industry advocacy.
Powell, who was an early champion of Bitcoin and started Kraken in 2011, has disputed that a number of company-related scandals were the impetus for his decision to stand down as CEO. Powell founded Kraken in 2011. He said in an interview with Bloomberg media that he had given the Kraken board of directors notice of his impending resignation more than a year ago. According to statements made by Powell to Bloomberg, “as the firm has become larger, it’s simply gotten to be more exhausting on me, less pleasant.”
Ripley, who joined the exchange after it purchased his firm in 2016, was picked by Kraken after a comprehensive internal and external search over the course of the previous year, according to Kraken’s statement.
This year, Powell has been at the centre of a number of disputes that have arisen inside the company. In March, Kraken was one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges that escaped a complete suspension of Russian accounts, provided that they were not forced to do so by the State Department. Powell said that the trade complied with the legal standards for sanctions, but that blanket prohibitions were unjust to normal Russians, since they may not support their country’s invasion of Ukraine.
In June, Powell used the company’s Slack platform to publish incendiary remarks addressing issues of racism and gender. During that period, he questioned the usage of preferred pronouns by staff and engaged in a long discussion regarding whether males are intrinsically more clever than women. Specifically, he wanted to know: Powell responded to the criticisms that were voiced by certain workers by releasing a business culture statement in which he outlined what he referred to as Kraken’s libertarian ideals. He instructed the employees that they should resign from their positions if they were in disagreement with the paper, and several of them did so.
Powell tweeted in July that he was taking Kraken “back to dictatorship” in reaction to an article published by The Times media on the company’s internal dispute.
After the United States Treasury Department opened an inquiry into allegations that the firm violated United States sanctions in July, Kraken found itself in the public eye. Kraken was accused of breaking U.S. sanctions because it allowed users in Iran, Syria, and Cuba to trade crypto assets on its platform, despite governmental limitations on engaging in commerce with the three nations. This led to the suspicion that Kraken had broken the sanctions.
Kraken was one of the first significant exchanges in the United States that was established in 2011 by Powell and Thanh Luu. It was designed specifically for investors to buy and sell digital assets.