Co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken Jesse Powell has stepped down as CEO after being at the helm for more than 11 years.
Dave Ripley, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Kraken who joined through the acquisition of Glidera, will succeed Powell as CEO.
“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,” said Powell.
Ripley has been the company’s COO for over 6 years and played a significant role in growing the firm from 50 to more than 3,000 employees. Kraken acquired over 16 companies and expanded operations to several geographies during his tenure.
“United by our crypto-first culture, we will empower people to transact and connect in new ways,” said Ripley. “My vision, along with the rest of the leadership team, is in lockstep with Jesse’s – to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrency.”
According to reports, Powell said that his decision was based on the fact that the firm’s size was becoming bigger. “It’s just gotten to be more draining on me, less fun.” His Twitter post indicated he was also dealing with some health issues.
However, Powell still wants to remain engaged with the company that he started during the early days of crypto.
He will become the Chairman of the Board of Directors and play an active role in strategizing the “company’s products, user experience and broader industry advocacy.”
United States-based Kraken started off as a Bitcoin exchange in 2011 but diversified into a full-fledged crypto platform with time. It was one of the first exchanges to offer spot trading with margins and regulated derivatives.
Currently, it’s the ninth-largest crypto exchange in terms of volumes, with over 10 million clients worldwide.