CoinDesk CEO and top execs depart after Bullish buyout

abdelaziz Fathi

Kevin Worth, the long-serving CEO of CoinDesk, is stepping down as part of a major restructuring by the media, events, and information company’s new owner.

Sara Stratoberdha, previously in charge of business development for cryptocurrency exchange Bullish, will take over the leadership role at CoinDesk.

The restructuring impacts several key positions within CoinDesk. Departures include Elinor Hirschhorn, the Chief Operating Officer and President of Media; John DeGuenther, Vice President of Engineering; and Emily Parker, Executive Director of Global Strategy. Additionally, Michael Casey, Chief Content Officer, will no longer hold a full-time position, though discussions are underway for his continued involvement with CoinDesk in a different capacity.

Bullish CEO Tom Farley announced the organizational changes in a memo to CoinDesk and Bullish employees. He outlined plans for a flatter organizational structure and integration of certain CoinDesk functions, such as Human Resources, with their Bullish counterparts. The tech and product teams of CoinDesk are also set to be integrated with those at Bullish.

The management reshuffle comes two months after Bullish acquired CoinDesk from its previous owner, Digital Currency Group, which faces its own set of challenges. CoinDesk, under Bullish’s ownership, will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary and “Sara is committed to maintaining CoinDesk’s journalistic independence and integrity,” a CoinDesk spokesperson said.

“Kevin and the leadership team oversaw the evolution of CoinDesk into a leading global media company, effected the sale to Bullish, and successfully integrated the two companies. We thank them and wish them well,” Bullish CEO Tom Farley said in a statement.

CoinDesk, which launched in 2013, was acquired by Barry Silbert in 2016 for $500,000. Its parent Digital Currency Group, the struggling crypto empire whose lending unit filed for bankruptcy, reported a $1.1 billion loss for the 2022 financial year.

In 2023, CoinDesk was the subject of a failed acquisition bid by a consortium led by investor Matthew Roszak, which valued the company at $125 million.

The takeover, completed as an all-cash transaction, saw Bullish taking 100% ownership of CoinDesk, though the specifics of the financial arrangement were undisclosed.

This acquisition came at a time when CoinDesk’s ex-parent company, Digital Currency Group, grapples with financial challenges intensified by the broader industry’s downturn, often referred to as the ‘crypto winter.’ Despite the sector’s struggles, CoinDesk is reportedly generating $50 million in annual revenue.

The initial deal ensured that the current editorial team at CoinDesk will continue their roles. However, Matt Murray, the former Editor-in-Chief of The Wall Street Journal, chaired an independent editorial committee. Murray has a wealth of experience, having led The Wall Street Journal’s 1,300-person newsroom and serving in senior roles over a 15-year period.

  • Read this next

    Institutional FX

    Intercontinental Exchange reinvents voice trading with ICE Voice

    “For the first time, ICE’s users will have a single, integrated platform for chat and voice that matches both traders’ need for always-on, instantaneous connectivity with other traders, and firms’ desire for easy-to-access and use records that help them meet their record retention requirements.”

    Fintech

    Duco launches EMIR-compliant transaction reporting eligibility validator

    “With Duco’s transaction reporting eligibility validator, customers can run independent checks whenever they want, get results in minutes, and access a clear audit trail. The solution provides insights at a field-by-field level so clients can see specific issues, discuss, and show ESMA they are considering discrepancies at a deep level.”

    Digital Assets

    Bybit’s trading volume near all-time high ahead of Bitcoin halving

    “Now, we’re seeing large inflows and smart money is moving fast. With the Bitcoin halving just around the corner, Bitcoin is proving itself as an institutional asset, a hedge against economic uncertainty, and a vote for financial freedom.”

    Digital Assets

    Morgan Stanley to add spot bitcoin ETFs

    Morgan Stanley is reportedly considering adding spot bitcoin ETF products to its brokerage platform. This move comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the investment vehicle in January.

    Digital Assets

    Hong Kong ends license applications for crypto exchanges

    Hong Kong has officially ceased accepting license applications from cryptocurrency exchanges as of February 29, signaling a stringent regulatory shift.

    Fintech

    Volt secures EMI license, expands payment solutions in UK

    Volt has successfully obtained an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    Retail FX

    ASIC bankrupts finfluencer Tyson Scholz over stock tips

    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has effectively bankrupted Tyson Robert Scholz, the figure behind “Black Wolf Pit.” The action marks a significant crackdown on so-called ‘finfluencers’ and individuals providing unlicensed financial services.

    Digital Assets

    Green Bitcoin Presale Raises $1M as Bitcoin Approaches its ATH

    The eco-friendly crypto project Green Bitcoin has seen its limited-time presale phase cross $1 million in funding. With an innovative gamified staking model and energy-efficient foundation, Green Bitcoin offers token holders a way to stake their tokens and generate yield.

    Web3

    Introducing QuickNode Streams: Elevating Blockchain Data Management

    Discover QuickNode’s Latest Innovation: Streamlining Blockchain Data Streaming for Enhanced Efficiency and Accessibility. Explore the Future of Blockchain Technology with Streams.

    <