Coinbase offers exit package for employees not comfortable with its mission

Quick Takes

  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong released a blog post this week saying the exchange intends to keep activism and politics separate from its business.
  • The firm is now providing a new exit package to employees that are uncomfortable with this stated mission.

Coinbase is offering a package for employees who want to exit after the release of a blog post from its CEO outlining why the crypto exchange operator will take on an apolitical mission. 

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, who penned the controversial blog outlining why the exchange will mainly focus on its crypto mission versus social activism, said that it would provide employees with a package to leave the firm if they don't "feel comfortable with the new direction," according to an internal company email reviewed by The Block.

In the blog post released Sunday, Armstrong explained why the firm should be "laser focused" on its mission to build an open financial system while focusing "minimally" on broader societal issues and political causes. The message was met with a cacophony of both support and opposition from the crypto world and beyond. Some praised the former Airbnb engineer for attempting to cultivate an ideologically inclusive environment. Others argued that the tone of the piece was cold and out of touch.

As for the severance package, Armstrong is offering employees keen on leaving as much as six months of severance and a potential seven year option exercise window. 

Here's a passage from the email:

Armstrong added:

"If you're interested in speaking with HR about this package (not committing to take it, but beginning a discussion) please fill out this form and someone will reach out shortly. Your conversation will be confidential with HR unless you choose to include your manager. If you decide to proceed, HR will provide you with a separation agreement and work with you on your last day."

In a sense, the email is in line with the original blog and reflects how at least one other large corporation handled a similar situation. In 2018, Amazon asked a number of its “associates”— full-time and part-time hourly employees — to leave if they wanted, as reported by The Atlantic. In turn, Amazon offered them a $5,000 check. 

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