Coinbase CEO urges unhappy workers to quit, slams petition

Coinbase boss Brian Armstrong is urging disgruntled employees to quit the company after an anonymous online petition called for several key executives at the embattled cryptocurrency firm to be removed from their posts.

Armstrong unleashed a tweetstorm in response to a viral petition dubbed “Operation Revive COIN.” The petition, purportedly written by Coinbase employees, called for a “vote of no confidence” in Coinbase COO Emilie Choi, Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee, and Chief People Officer LJ Brock following a recent downturn in the firm’s fortunes.

“This is really dumb on multiple levels,” Armstrong tweeted on Friday alongside a link to the now-deleted post. “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? I was a little offended not to be included :).”

“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!” he added.

The petition pointed to several alleged missteps at Coinbase under current executive leadership, including which it described as the “failure of the Coinbase NFT platform,” “unsustainable” hiring practices and a “generally apathetic and sometimes condescending attitude” for the three executives it referenced.

Armstrong called the decision to publicly circulate the petition “deeply unethical” and warned that any workers found to be responsible would be terminated.

“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,” he tweeted.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong warned that any workers responsible for the petition would be fired.
AFP via Getty Images

Coinbase representatives did not immediately return a request for further comment.

The petition and subsequent tweets from Armstrong are the latest sign of trouble at Coinbase, which has been under intense pressure as market volatility and a steep plunge in cryptocurrency prices weigh on its stock.

Shares fell more than 13% in trading Monday during a broader selloff. Coinbase’s stock is down by nearly 80% so far this year.

As The Post and other outlets reported last week, Coinbase has enacted a hiring freeze and even rescinded some job offers to new hires due to “current market conditions and ongoing business prioritization efforts.”

Coinbase office
Coinbase recently enacted a hiring freeze.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

Brock, one of the executives targeted in the petition, addressed the decision in a memo to staffers.

“We always knew crypto would be volatile, but that volatility alongside larger economic factors may test the company, and us personally, in new ways,” Brock wrote. “If we’re flexible and resilient, and remain focused on the long term, Coinbase will come out stronger on the other side.”

The hiring freeze also followed a weak first-quarter earnings report and a warning from Coinbase that the crypto holdings of its customers could be at risk if the firm were to go bankrupt.

Armstrong sought to downplay public fears about that warning, chalking up the message to updated SEC requirements and declaring Coinbase was at “no risk of bankruptcy.”

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