Coinbase Loses VP of Engineering in Latest Execs Exodus

Wagner’s hiring was significant in part as CEO Armstrong described engineering as core to Coinbase strategy.

Tim Wagner, who held the role of vice president of engineering at Coinbase, has left the firm after less than a year in the position. A replacement for the former veteran of Amazon Web Services has not yet been named, CoinDesk reported Tuesday.

Wagner’s hiring back in August 2018 was significant in part because CEO Brian Armstrong described engineering as core to its strategy of building cryptocurrency products. Wagner, who played a key role in building AWS Lambda platform and its strong reputation for security, was also tasked with expanding Coinbase’s team of engineers. Prior to AWS, Tim spent several years at Microsoft.

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The news also represents the latest in a series of high-profile executives departures at the US largest cryptocurrency exchange in the last few months. Wagner’s exit follows the recent departure of Timothy Plakas, who was running Coinbase’s OTC trading desk. He left shortly after the widely followed startup, valued at $8 billion, rolled out its crypto over-the-counter trading desk in 2018, initially testing interest in the product from professional traders.

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Coinbase struck by an exodus of executives

Others include Coinbase COO Asiff Hirji, who parted ways with the No. 1 US cryptocurrency exchange after providing services to the firm for 18 months. Coinbase’s director of institutional sales, Christine Sandler, also left the San Francisco startup to join Fidelity Investments. 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.

There haven’t been any negative comments from the outgoing staff or the crypto exchange itself, but the timing is pivotal for the San Francisco startup, which works hard to bring in top institutional investors.

The departures also come at a time when a growing number of large firms, including Facebook, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, are making plans to offer cryptocurrency products and services. Their entry would bring further competition to the market, including hunting for execs working at established players like Coinbase.

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