Coinbase CEO tells unhappy employees to ‘quit and find a company you believe in’

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is slamming a recently circulated employee petition calling for several key executives to be replaced.

The now-deleted petition, dubbed Operation Revive COIN, urged employees to support a vote of no confidence to oust the cryptocurrency exchange’s Chief Operating Officer Emilie Choi, Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee and Chief People Officer LJ Brock.

“We the employees at Coinbase believe that the executive team has recently been making decisions that are not in the best interests of the Company, its employees, and its shareholders,” organizers wrote. “COO Emilie Choi, CPO Surojit Chatterjee, and Chief People Officer LJ Brock have been the most prominent executives who have been executing plans and ideas that have led to questionable results and negative value.”

BITCOIN PLUNGES BELOW $24K AS HEADWINDS MOUNT

The employees argue Coinbase’s decision to extend a hiring pause and rescind some accepted job offers has lead to a “massive negative reception from the public and industry at-large.”

They also claim that Coinbase has over-prioritized certain products, causing a lack of focus on important issues like infrastructure, and has not been able to output any higher or better quality and products and services despite aggressively hiring more employees. 

In addition, the petition states that the company’s Dot Collector initiative and performance review system have led to a toxic workplace culture and called the launch of the company’s NFT platform a “failure.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
COIN COINBASE GLOBAL INC. 52.01 -6.70 -11.41%

Coinbase shares have fallen more than 11% during Monday’s trading session. 

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Armstrong responded with a lengthy Twitter thread, in which he called the petition “really dumb on multiple levels.”

“First of all, if you want to do a vote of no confidence, you should do it on me and not blame the execs. Who do you think is running this company?” Armstrong wrote. “Second, if you have no confidence in the execs or CEO of a company then why are you working at that company? Quit and find a company to work at that you believe in!”

While Armstrong acknowledged that making suggestions to improve Coinbase’s culture is a “great idea,” he said that the company’s culture is to “praise in public, and criticize in private.” 

“Posting this publicly is also deeply unethical because it harms your fellow co-workers, along with shareholders and customers,” he explained. “It’s also dumb because if you get caught you will be fired, and it’s just not an effective way to get what you claim to want.”

Armstrong warned that people will point fingers and look for someone to blame during any market downturn and called on his staff to come together during the company’s difficult period. In addition, he expects additional leaks to happen periodically, citing the company’s remote work policy as a contributing factor. 

“Anyway – 99.9% of the company has important work to do, so if you can stop distracting us that be great and we will get back to work building cool stuff!” Armstrong’s thread concluded. “If you’re unhappy about something, work as part of the team to raise it along with proposed solutions (it’s easy to be a critic, harder to be a part of the solution). If you can’t do that and you’re going to leak/rant externally then quit. Thanks!”

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The criticism from Coinbase employees comes as the cryptocurrency market has been contending with extreme market volatility.

On Monday, Bitcoin plunged below the $24,000 per coin mark, briefly falling to a 52-week low of $22,601.69. As of the time of publication, the world’s largest cryptocurrency is trading around the $23,000 per coin mark.

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