Kraken’s CEO Jesse Powell is stepping down to focus on crypto advocacy

Kraken, the ninth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced that its current COO Dave Ripley will succeed Powell as soon as the company finds a replacement to fill Ripley’s position.

Image: Kraken

“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,” Powell said in a press release. “I look forward to spending more of my time on the company’s products, user experience and broader industry advocacy.”

Jesse Powell, 42, founded Kraken in 2011 and has long been a vocal proponent of cryptocurrency adoption. This year, he found himself at the center of several company-related controversies: first, his hard stance against “woke culture” draw heavy criticism from progressive circles, and then his company faced investigation from the U.S. Treasury for alleged violation of sanctions imposed on Iran.

Powell’s stepping down becomes the latest in a series of crypto C-suite resignations. As markets plummeted, some of the big names in the industry started leaving, including Genesis’s CEO Michael Moro, Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco, and MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor. Powell, however, attributed his departure to banal boredom.

“As the company has gotten bigger, it’s just gotten to be more draining on me, less fun,” Powell told Bloomberg, adding that he plans to stay very engaged with the company as the largest shareholder and chairman of Kraken's board of directors.