Coinbase CEO says 'about 5% of employees' have taken severance packages after controversial 'mission' post


At the end of September, crypto exchange Coinbase told its employees that anyone uncomfortable with the firm's stated "apolitical" mission could leave with a generous exit package in hand.

According to a Thursday blog post penned by CEO Brian Armstrong, 60 employees — or "about 5% of employees" — have opted to leave. The bulk of the blog post constituted an email sent to Coinbase employees earlier in the day.

As The Block previously reported, Armstrong stirred controversy when he pledged that Coinbase will focus on its business mission versus pursuing social activism. The response, which drew positive and negatives responses both inside and outside the company, ultimately led Coinbase to make the severance offer in an internal email

It ultimately emerged that one aspect of the internal tumult was driven by an event in early June, when Armstrong was questioned during an internal event about the Black Lives Matter movement. That event resulted in an employee walkout and a public statement of support by Armstrong a day later.

In  Thursday's post, Armstrong wrote that "[t]here are a handful of other conversations still ongoing, so the final number will likely be a bit higher" than the 60 identified. 

"For those of you who have decided to move on, I want to thank you for your contributions to Coinbase and we wish you the very best. And for those of you who are opting in to the next chapter, I want to thank you for your trust and commitment to this mission. I’m excited to build the future with all of you," he continued.

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