The president and chief operating officer at Coinbase, Asiff Hirji, is parting ways with the No. 1 US cryptocurrency exchange after providing services to the firm for 18 months. Michael Li, a former data executive at LinkedIn that joined Coinbase in March 2018, replaces Hirji in the COO role, the company announced today.
While not attesting that his departure is tied to a change of direction in the company, Brian Armstrong, co-founder, and CEO of Coinbase said: “We’re incredibly grateful for Asiff’s contributions over the past 18 months. His experience and mentorship helped guide Coinbase through an important chapter in its history. He joined at a critical time when both the company and crypto space were going through rapid growth, bringing his extensive experience to bear when it was most necessary.”
Hirji, a tech industry veteran, joined Coinbase in December 2017, replacing co-founder Fred Ehrsam, who served as president of the company until January. Hirji joined from the VC firm and Coinbase investor Andreessen Horowitz, where he was a partner. He also spent time in executive roles at Hewlett-Packard, Saxo Bank and stock trading platform TD Ameritrade.
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The newly-appointed Emilie Choi has been hired in March 2018 as the new president of Corporate and Business Development to spearhead Coinbase’s acquisition initiatives. Emilie joined the crypto unicorn after working for more than eight years at LinkedIn, where she served as LinkedIn’s Vice President of Corporate Development.
Asiff’s exit follows the recent departure from Coinbase of Timothy Plakas, who was running Coinbase’s OTC trading desk. Adam White, the fifth employee of Coinbase, joining the firm in 2013, also departed in October and instead landed at ICE-backed cryptocurrency exchange, Bakkt.
Coinbase’s policy officer, Michael Lempres, also resigned in October from his newly-created role and parted ways with the company after two years.