With the power struggle within Bitmain still going on, its co-founder Jihan Wu has stepped down as its official legal representative.
First reported by The Block, Wu stepped down from the position on January 2. He was replaced by the company’s long-reigning chief financial office Luyao Liu. His position at the company now also adds general manager and legal representative.
Wu’s return to the top management of the Chinese manufacturer resulted in a number of layoffs and reshuffling in the company’s structure, the major being the ousting of Micree Ketuan Zhan, the co-founder of the company. He was relieved from the roles of chairman, legal representative, and also legal representative.
Wu also warned Bitmain’s employees from taking any instructions from Zhan as the consequences might lead to dismissal or criminal charges.
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Bloomberg recently reported that Zhan has moved to court to regain his lost position at the miner manufacturing giant.
Wu and Zhan founded the company in 2013, and both served as the co-CEOs until early 2019 when Haichao Wang took over the position amid disagreement in business decisions between the two. Wang was picked by Wu.
Notably, Zhan is still the majority shareholder of the company, with close to 4 million B shares, according to a 2018 IPO prospectus.
Will it affect the IPO?
The tussle in the top management is going on at a time when the Chinese company is also attempting to go public. After a failed attempt in Hong Kong, the company is trying for a US listing; however, even after several months, the plan still did not see any light.
Meanwhile, the company is reportedly looking to lay off 50 percent of its workforce and reshuffle its management. The decision is expected to finalize at the company’s scheduled annual meeting on January 17.