The Block fires a third of its employees amid a leadership shakeup

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According to Axios, The Block, a crypto media company that was embroiled in a funding scandal involving disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, has laid off roughly one-third of its staff as part of a broader leadership shakeup.

Why it matters: Following the scandal, the layoffs are intended to stabilize and strengthen the company’s position.

Details: The company announced Friday in a note to employees that it has appointed Larry Cermak, its longtime head of research, to the position of CEO, a move Cermak later confirmed on his Twitter account.

Cermak has taken over as interim CEO for Bobby Moran, who was laid off as part of the layoffs.
The layoffs affected every department, but not equally. Given the current market conditions, The Block’s revenue team has been significantly reduced, according to a spokesperson.

In addition to Cermak, the company has added Evgeny Gaevoy, CEO of digital asset trading firm Wintermute, to its board of directors. According to a company spokesperson, another board member will be announced soon.

What they’re saying: “We are not immune to the crypto market’s and the economy’s broader contraction,” the company said in a statement.

Ours is a story you’ve probably heard before. We grew too quickly to take advantage of a crypto bull market.

Now we must adjust our strategy and realign our teams to reflect the realities of the current market.

Larry has been with the Block since the beginning, and he understands what we’re capable of, even as a smaller team.” It was difficult to say goodbye to talented colleagues who made significant contributions to our growth, but it was necessary to strengthen the company’s position in the future.

The big picture: Michael McCaffrey, the company’s previous CEO, negotiated the funding agreement with Bankman-Fried. In December, he resigned as CEO and left the company.

While he is not involved in day-to-day operations and is not on the board, he is still a majority shareholder with the rights of a majority shareholder, according to a spokesperson.

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