Executive Shuffle: Bitmain’s Co-Founders Step Back From the CEO Role

Jihan Wu via Chamber of Digital Commerce / YouTube

Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain is in the process of naming a new CEO as it continues to shake up and scale down its operations.

According to a recent report by the South China Morning Post that cites two inside sources, co-founders Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan, who’ve served as Bitmain’s co-CEOs, are planning to take a step back from the company’s day-to-day management.

Insiders have indicated that the likely successor is Haichao Wang, who joined the company in 2017 and currently holds the position of product engineering director. While Wang is reportedly set to lead the company, Wu and Zhan will still make final calls on big decisions.

As we previously reported, Wu was relegated to a supervisory role after losing his board seat in November. The co-founder has also been under fire for his role in the recent Bitcoin Cash fork.

Meanwhile, Zhan has been questioning his managerial abilities since 2015, according to a report by Chinese media outlet Odaily Planet Daily. The leader of Bitmain’s chip research and development team likely wants less responsibility for the struggling mining giant’s day-to-day operations.

It’s hard to blame either co-founder for shying away from the CEO role, as the company reportedly lost $400 million in the third quarter of 2018. Add in the fact that Bitmain’s mining pools, BTC.com and Antpool, have seemingly fallen off the map in terms of hash power, and it’s even more clear just how much the crypto winter has impacted the company that once controlled 85% of the crypto mining chip market.

Despite the executive shakeup, Bitmain’s goal of raising capital through a public offering is likely not going to go through, as the Hong Kong’s market regulator and stock exchange operator are unlikely to approve initial public offerings of cryptocurrency companies.

More: Bitmain’s two founders to step aside as Chinese cryptocurrency giant taps software coder as new CEO

Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.

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