Bitstamp appoints new CEO after Julian Sawyer's sudden departure

Quick Take

  • Bitstamp says Sawyer has “decided to pursue other opportunities,” 18 months into his tenure as CEO.
  • The exchange has promoted Europe CEO JB Graftieaux to replace him. 

Crypto exchange Bitstamp announced on Monday that CEO Julian Sawyer has left the company, with Europe CEO JB Graftieaux promoted to replace him. 

Sawyer, who had been in the role for 18 months, has "decided to pursue other opportunities," Bitstamp wrote in a statement on Monday, confirming reports from The Block on Saturday. 

Graftieaux served as Bitstamp’s chief compliance officer between November 2014 and February 2016 before he left for a five-year stint at eBay, according to his LinkedIn profile. He rejoined Bitstamp as Europe CEO a year ago. 

“JB was with Bitstamp in its early days, and has admirably led our European business over the past year. We’re pleased to welcome a CEO with such an impressive track record, and very much look forward to the contribution and perspective he will bring to the company in his new role,” Nicolas Huss, Bitstamp's chairman, said in the statement. 


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Just last month, Sawyer sat down with The Block for an interview at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, where he outlined his grand plans for growth. The company, he explained, was pinning its future on solid customer service and reliability as it targets “underserved” audiences including women and older investors. 

Bitstamp, which was acquired by private equity firm NXMH in 2018, controls only about 2% of the market for spot trading between crypto and fiat, compared with about 27% by market leader Coinbase.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Andrew Rummer is executive editor for The Block Pro, based in London. He was previously managing editor at Bloomberg News and led special projects at Finimize. He has a degree in engineering from the University of Oxford. Follow him on Twitter at @AJRummer.