Digital Asset is a financial blockchain company, which means that it thrives on the distributed ledger technology that has brought support to many industries. However, no matter how transparent or immutable the ledger is, DA seems to be unable to hold onto the executives that would keep it running seamlessly. The departure of CEO Blythe Masters was rough enough, but the company has now lost another – James Powell.
Powell was the CTO of engineering, as well as the chief information officer. However, after only six months at the company, Powell chose to leave for greener pastures at the end of last month. As far as any resources can tell, the departure of Masters had nothing to do with Powell’s decision, but that it instead had to do with the overall culture of DA. When Powell had joined, he had already held down senior positions at Thomson Reuters and Warburg Pincus, among others.
Shaul Kfir, the CTO of architecture and a founding team member, is now going to handle the responsibilities that Powell leaves behind. At this point, the former CTO of engineering has not responded to requests for comment.
In the meantime, Zohar Hod has just been onboard with DA as the chief strategy officer. The trading technology veteran will be directed by Yuval Rooz, the co-founder, and chief operating officer. The position is brand new, but Hod will focus on examining the market demand and competitive landscape for blockchain technology. His work will propel the company forward as he advises the leadership about opportunities to expand.
Hod already has spent 8 years working with Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which was created by the New York Stock Exchange. He also spent several years with IBM and was the CEO of a post-trade data firm called truePTS.
Right now, Digital Asset is the home to over 175 employees in six locations, including New York, London, and Zurich. It has worked to become a bellwether for DLT upgrades and integration, which can be credited to the work they have done to replace the CHESS clearing and settlement system for the Australian Stock Exchange.
Regardless of the changes of leadership at ASX, Masters’ departure will not alter the projected timeline for the project.