Crypto executive exits continue as firms trudge through bear market

Quick Take

  • Notable crypto executive shakeups continued through September and into October as the bear market continues. 
  • The departures include executives from firms including Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, Kraken, Galaxy Digital, FTX, OpenSea and others.

A string of notable crypto executive shakeups continued through September into October as companies continued to grapple with the bear market.  

Two of the most high-profile departures involved executives from Celsius Network and Voyager Digital, which continue to pick up the pieces after declaring bankruptcy in July. Long time CEO and founder of crypto exchange Kraken also surprised the market with his departure announcement. 

These departures follow a wave of crypto executives leaving their posts in August, including MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, Genesis CEO Michael Moro and Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco.

Here are some of the most notable exits The Block reported over the last month.

Sept. 21: Kraken's Jesse Powell steps down as CEO  

The Block reported on Sept. 21 that Kraken CEO Jesse Powell would be leaving his post at the crypto exchange after co-founding it in 2011. Former Chief Operating Officer David Ripley will step into the role in the next few months. Powell told Fortune that he wanted to spend more time on things he enjoyed, such as product development and industry advocacy work. He will continue to serve as chairman of the board for the crypto exchange.

Sept. 22: Galaxy Digital’s co-head of trading Robert Bogucki leaving for BH Digital  

Axios reported that Galaxy Digital’s Co-Head of Trading Robert Bogucki would be leaving the company for BH Digital, the crypto division of hedge fund titan Alan Howard’s Brevan Howard. Bogucki's departure came after news in late August that the company’s co-head of investments Michael Jordan and other executives from Galaxy Digital and Genesis were launching a new fund called DBA Crypto

Sept. 23: Voyager CFO Ashwin Prithipaul resigns 

Bankrupt lender Voyager announced on Sept. 23 that Chief Financial Officer Ashwin Prithipaul would be resigning to “pursue other opportunities.” He had held that position since May, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to Voyager, Prithipaul held CFO positions at DriveDigital and Galaxy Digital. Voyager announced on Sept. 26 that FTX US won an auction for its assets with a bid of about $1.4 billion. 

Sept. 27:  Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky steps down

Alex Mashinsky, now-former CEO of bankrupt lender Celsius Network, resigned on Sept. 27. The price of Celsius’ native token, CEL, dropped sharply on the news. Celsius’ creditor committee said it had called for Mashinsky’s removal after conducting an investigation into the company. Mashinsky had withdrawn $10 million before Celsius declared bankruptcy and froze withdrawals on June 12, the Financial Times reported.  

Sept. 27: FTX US President Brett Harrison moves to advisory role

Former FTX US president Brett Harrison tweeted on Sept. 27 that he would be leaving his position and moving into an advisory role. He stepped into the president position in May 2021, and helped the company grow into new areas such as stocks and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

Harrison previously held positions at Jane Street, where he overlapped with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, and high-speed trading firm Citadel Securities, where he led a team of more than 100 engineers.  

Sept. 28: Genesis co-head of sales and trading Matt Ballensweig steps down. 

Genesis Trading's co-head of sales and trading Matt Ballensweig stepped down on Sept. 28 after more than five years with the company. He will serve in an advisory role for the "foreseeable future," according to a Twitter thread announcing his departure. 


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"We built an 8-person company huddled in a small office in NYC back in 2017 to a sell-side trading behemoth doing billions in volumes in multiple countries today," Ballensweig wrote in a tweet.

Oct. 3: Coatue’s Matt Mazzeo leaves the firm 

Matt Mazzeo, a general partner at tech-focused investment manager Coatue Management, left the firm to start a new investment fund focused on early-stage startups on Oct. 3. The Information reported the news. A few days later, the same news outlet wrote that two more general partners — Luca Schmid and Sebastian Duesterhoeft — left in August and September, respectively.  

Coatue has invested in crypto firms including OpenSea and crypto market maker Portofino Technologies, and participated in Dapper Labs' $725 million ecosystem fund.  

Oct. 3: NYDIG's CEO Robert Gutmann and President Yan Zhao stepping down amid promotions

Bitcoin investment company NYDIG promoted Tejas Shah and Nate Conrad to the respective roles of CEO and president, the firm announced on Oct. 3. Meanwhile, CEO Robert Gutmann and President Yan Zhao have stepped down from their roles and will continue to work with NYDIG's parent Stone Ridge Holdings Group. Gutmann will stay on NYDIG's board.

Oct. 4: Celsius Network co-founder Daniel Leon leaves  

Daniel Leon, co-founder of bankrupt lender Celsius Network, resigned during the week of Oct. 4, Bloomberg reported. The company confirmed the departure to the news outlet. Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky also resigned from the company in late September. 

Oct. 6: Aya Kantorovich, FalconX’s head of institutional coverage, announces departure 

Earlier this week, FalconX’s head of institutional coverage Aya Kantorovich announced she would be leaving the firm in a LinkedIn post. She had been at the crypto financial services firm since 2019. She got her start at crypto-focused investment firm Pantera. 

Oct. 7: Greenidge Generation reshuffles executive ranks, with CEO Jeffrey Kirt out  

Bitcoin miner Greenidge Generation reshuffled its executive ranks, with CEO Jeffrey Kirt leaving. As of today, two executives from forestry products company Millar Western — David Anderson and Scott MacKenzie — stepped in to replace him.  

Oct. 7: OpenSea CFO Brian Roberts announces departure after less than a year 

OpenSea Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Brian Roberts wrote on LinkedIn that he left the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace and would continue in an advisory role. He joined Open Sea in December after serving as the CFO for Lyft.  

“I had the rare opportunity to build a team literally from the ground up and handpicked game changers,” Roberts wrote in his LinkedIn post. 

© 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

Kristin Majcher is a senior correspondent at The Block, based in Colombia. She covers the Latin America market. Before joining, she worked as a freelancer with bylines in Fortune, Condé Nast Traveler and MIT Technology Review among other publications.