Costolo’s argument, Costolo replied that “me-first capitalists” will be the “first people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution.” Costolo, whose personal fortune is estimated at $300 million, added that he would “happily provide video commentary.”
Now, Wired has outlined the reaction to Armstrong’s decision by Coinbase employees, some of whom support Armstrong’s move against wokeness:
On Tuesday, Armstrong further upped the ante, offering severance packages for any employees who disagreed with the company’s “new direction.” (The email was first published by The Block.) Staff were given one week to either jump ship or get on board with the vision, however they interpreted it.
Those actions—taken, in large part, with public flourish—have made Armstrong a lightning rod in a Silicon Valley culture war, set against a broader American one.
According to Armstrong, the 60 who left constitute a 5% loss in Coinbase’s workforce.
⚔️ Big Picture
- Armstrong’s memo could have been influenced by a previous incident: During a company-wide meeting in June, Armstrong refused to say “black lives matter”, which prompted a virtual walkout by some employees.One employee told Business Insiderthat it was the recent memo that led to 60 employees quitting rather than the “black lives matter” incident. According to the report, Coinbase employees didn’t think of the company as a particularly political place to work at before the memo.
- Last week, tennis player and venture capitalist Serena Williamsremoved all mention of Coinbasefrom her VC site. Her husband, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, is also an investor in Coinbase.
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.
It’s still unclear whether the move was in connection with Armstrong’s memo or Coinbase’s new policies.
⚡ Get Ahead
The loss of 60 employees may not strike a huge blow to Coinbase, but it’s a telling sign that those employees would rather join the 12.6 million unemployed Americans than continue to work for Armstrong. The company is doing well overall,hitting a valuation of $8 billionafter a recent $300 million fundraising round.
Armstrong has been supported as well as vilified by the tech world, which, at least as far as Silicon Valley is concerned, is mostly liberal. Investor Paul Graham came out as a vocal supporter of the new policy,saying in a tweet, “I predict most successful companies will follow Coinbase’s lead.
Armstrong’s comments fly in the face of ultra-progressive tech firms such as Facebook and Google.
In a blog post to Medium.com, Armstrong stated that the company would not focus on things such as broader societal issues, stating: “We don’t engage here when issues are unrelated to our core mission, because we believe impact only comes with focus.” Discussing politics, Armstrong said: “We don’t advocate for any particular causes or candidates internally that are unrelated to our mission, because it is a distraction from our mission. Even if we all agree something is a problem, we may not all agree on the solution.”
Costolo commented on Armstrong’s approach stating: “This isn’t great leadership. It’s the abdication of leadership.
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.
2/ 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 🙂
— Brian Armstrong – barmstrong.eth (@brian_armstrong) June 10, 2022
4/ Third, making suggestions on how to improve the company is a great idea (in fact, we expect everyone to be a part of that).
Ironically, they’ve put Coinbase and its employees in the thick of a political debate far outside the bounds of the company’s core mission—precisely what Armstrong said he hoped to avoid.
Within the company, the lines are more blurred. Some workers have cheered Armstrong’s decision, often quietly for fear of pushback from colleagues. (The “silent majority,” Armstrong called them at a company all-hands Thursday, according to an attendee.) Others have taken Armstrong’s offer and quit, or are actively discussing whether to do so with their colleagues.
Read the full article and insight into Coinbase at Wired here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.
In a recent memo, Armstrong outlined where Coinbase stands in terms of company culture and politics: “We are an intense culture and we are an apolitical culture,” he wrote. He followed up by offering a severance package for any employees who wished to leave the company if they didn’t agree with its mission.
60 employees took the offer, with more still in talks to leave.
💎 Data Digs
Currently, Coinbase has around 1,420 employees, and that number has been steadily increasing throughout the year. The chart doesn’t necessarily reflect the loss of the 60 employees, most likely because many of them may not have updated their LinkedIn profiles.
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 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.
Wired magazine recently outlined the internal turmoil at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase following CEO Brian Armstrong’s declaration that political discussions were to be kept outside of the office, giving employees a week to agree or leave. His direct refutation of the tech industry’s woke capitalism left his employees in an uproar.
In a recent article titled “The Turmoil Over ‘Black Lives Matter’ and Political Speech at Coinbase,” Wired outlines the internal reaction to CEO Brian Armstrong telling employees to keep social justice and political issues out of the office, giving them the option of leaving the company if they disagree.
Breitbart News recently reported that former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo took issue with Armstrong’s decision to not promote political activism and social justice within the company.