Steemit appoints new CEO in the wake of mass layoffs

Steemit’s management has seen a reshuffling, with former head of communications Elizabeth Powell being appointed CEO, and former director Ned Scott being named executive chairman, according to a company blog post. 

The restructuring comes after massive downsizing in November, when the blockchain-powered social network that pays contributors in crypto laid off 70 per cent of its workforce. The firm said it struggled to maintain its burn rate when the bear market hit, causing the value of its native Steem token to plummet. It now has approximately 14 full-time employees remaining.

Powell, who joined the company in May 2018, told The Block that she had been the de facto CEO for some time, but that the official conversation had taken place around Christmas. Asked how the dual-leadership role would work, Powell said she expected she and Scott would share control equally.

"Ned and I work really well together. We will continue to work side by side to execute our vision (including a better user interface)...We are open to whatever makes the company work," Powell said in an interview with The Block.

Steemit works by giving Steem tokens as rewards to publishers and Reddit-like curators for each post, but it has yet to generate a profit.

"The next 12 months we will be in survival mode from a cost-cutting perspective. We're focused on building ad revenue for the first time on the platform, and getting operation fees under control," Powell said. She noted that the firm may well accept sponsorship payments in bitcoin, given several ICOs have approached them about paid marketing.

Steemit also published an updated "Mission, Vision and Values" statement this week.