Big changes are coming to Bitmain Technologies as co-founders Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan are said to be stepping down from their posts as co-CEOs of the Bitcoin mining giant.
Out with the Old, in with the New
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported yesterday that Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies – the world’s largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining rigs – is getting ready to appoint a new CEO to replace Wu and Zhan.
While there has been no official word on who will be taking over as CEO, sources familiar with the matter believe that engineering director Haichao Wang is the most likely candidate. Wang reportedly began taking over Wu and Zhan’s duties back in December of last year.
Those same sources, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the situation, noted:
After Wang takes over, Wu and Zhan will move away from the company’s day-to-day business activities but will still make final calls on big decisions.
While it is not known exactly when Wang will take his place as CEO, it is being reported that Wu and Zhan will both stay on as co-chairs. Neither Wang nor Bitmain have yet to comment on the development, the rumors of which began surfacing two weeks ago.
Can a New CEO Turn Bitmain Around?
Bitmain is in the midst of a “major transition period” as 2019 unfolds. The company appears to be scrambling in the wake of inventory losses, general market malaise, and a disastrous Bitcoin Cash hard fork last November that saw the price of BCH plummet from a monthly high of $638.55 on November 7th to $233.83 on the 19th – a loss of more than 63% – before continuing to fall even further.
Although Bitmain has not yet released its Q3 2018 financial report, there are estimates placing the loss at more than $740 million, with some people speculating that it could be as high as $1.2 billion.
Breaking: Jihan is removing himself from CEO role as he sees high probability of bankruptcy. Removing from CEO will decrease personal liability! In addition early estimates, Bitmain 2018 Profits were NEGATIVE $1,2 Bilion !!!
— BTCKING555 (@btcking555) January 10, 2019
In December, Bitmain laid off its entire Bitcoin Cash client development team and announced that it was closing its blockchain R&D facility in Israel. And on top of that, it looks like the company’s plans for an IPO in Hong Kong are in serious jeopardy.
According to the SCMP, an unnamed source familiar with the matter said:
It is premature for any cryptocurrency trading platform – or business associated with the industry – to raise funds through an IPO in Hong Kong before the proper regulatory framework is in place.
With all of the knocks that Bitmain has taken over the past year, Wu and Zhan’s successor – whoever he or she may be – will definitely have their work cut out for them.
How will Wu and Zhan’s departures impact Bitmain? Do you think that the incoming CEO can help bring the company back from its recent losses? Sound off in the comments below.
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