Jesse Powell, co-founder of crypto exchange Kraken, steps down as CEO

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Jesse Powell, co-founder of crypto exchange Kraken, will step down as the company’s chief executive, the company said Wednesday. 

Dave Ripley, the company’s chief operating officer, will succeed Powell as CEO, according to a blog post by Kraken. 

Powell made the move to focus more on the company’s products, user experience and “broader industry advocacy,” he said in the blog post. “As the company has gotten bigger, it’s just gotten to be more draining on me, less fun,” Powell told Bloomberg News on Wednesday. Powell will become chairman of Kraken’s board of directors.

In June, a New York Times report said that Powell started a “culture war” within the company as he questioned the use of preferred pronouns, debated who could use racial slurs and called American women “brainwashed.”

“The New York Times hit piece completely cherry-picked little snippets of text out of weeks’ worth of conversations and reconstructed their own sentences in this hit piece. A complete misrepresentation of what actually happened. Obviously I don’t think women are any less intelligent than men,” Powell told Fox News at the time, in response. 

A representative at Kraken didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment Wednesday.

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