The CEO of San Francisco-based digital currency exchange Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, put his foot down this week, offering workers who do not agree with his view on how the company should engage with the political sphere a way out.
In a blog post on Thursday, Armstrong shared a memo he sent to employees that said 5% of the company’s workforce decided to take an “exit package,” which was offered to those who did not agree with the company’s apolitical mission.
Five percent is about 60 workers, and Armstrong said he was pleased that the numbers did not disproportionately reflect an exodus from underrepresented groups.
“There are a handful of other conversations still ongoing, so the final number will likely be a bit higher,’ Armstrong wrote.
Armstrong previously announced the company would not engage in broad political activism while simultaneously acknowledging that cryptocurrencies are inherently political to a certain extent.
“Growing revenue and profit is the only way we will be able to grow our team to build all the things that are needed to accomplish the mission,” Armstrong said. “And we need an environment that is welcoming to everyone to attract and retain team members.”
Armstrong said engaging in social activism – as many companies do in Silicon Valley – has the potential to destroy value at “most companies” by both acting as a distraction and creating internal division.
The company’s mission, he said, is to create “an open financial system for the world.”