Jesse Powell, chief executive officer of major cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, has resigned and will be replaced by current chief operating officer Dave Ripley, the company announced on Wednesday.
Powell is an early Bitcoin backer and co-founded the Kraken exchange in 2011, just two years after creating the world’s largest cryptocurrency. He remains the largest shareholder of the stock exchange and will remain on the board as chairman, it said The Wall Street Journal.
The transition is expected to take place over the next few months. Ripley will take over after Kraken finds a new COO.
The report said Powell will remain active despite stepping down as CEO. He plans to focus his time on product development and industry advocacy while serving as the firm’s executive chairman.
The outspoken CEO said Bloomberg in an interview confirming his decision to step down as CEO from the board a year ago. As the company got bigger, it became more exhausting for me, less fun, Powell said.
“Kraken is in great hands with David Ripley. I will continue to be very engaged as chairman. Big thanks to the team for believing in me, to our investors for taking a chance and to all my industry colleagues on the front lines,” he tweeted Wednesday.
According to per CoinMarketCap, Kraken is the fourth largest crypto exchange by spot volume, just behind Coinbase. It is the 14th largest stock exchange by volume of derivatives. The company is based in Delaware, but has found most of its market in Europe.
According to data from Pitchbook, crypto exchange Kaken has about 3,200 employees and is valued at $10.8 billion. There are about 106 investors in the company.
In an interview with Fortune Crypto, Ripley stated that there would be no changes to the company’s libertarian culture. On the other hand, Powell left crypto investors with some bullish words about Bitcoin.
“The world is a changing place,” he said, adding, “and Bitcoin is anti-fragile and a safe haven from what’s happening in the legacy financial system.”