John Russ, global marketing head at San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, will leave the company following its new “no politics in the workspace” stance, he announced on Twitter yesterday.
In light of the decision @coinbase employees were asked to make by October 7th, I have decided to leave Coinbase. In my time leading Global Marketing, I have been fortunate to work alongside many great people and teams, especially our Global Marketing team. I wish all well!
— John Russ (@JRussII) October 14, 2020
Prior to Russ’s announcement, Coinbase’s chief compliance officer Jeff Horowitz likewise decided to leave the exchange, although it reportedly had nothing to do with the new policy, according to The Block’s sources. Andrei Anisimov, a senior software engineer at Coinbase, also tweeted on October 10 that it was his last week at the company, yet similarly provided no additional details as to why.
As Decrypt reported, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stirred up quite a controversy recently by announcing a new company policy that prohibits employees from discussing political matters at work. Naturally, this immediately split the crypto community into two camps.
While some commenters applauded Armstrong for separating politics from business, others bashed him for allegedly invading employees’ privacy and stifling freedom of speech. Whatever the case may be, Armstrong still offered generous severance packages to all Coinbase employees who have issues with the new non-activist rules.
This week was my last at @coinbase. An experience I’m truly grateful for – meeting all the great people, shipping amazing projects and having lots of fun. Thank you @brian_armstrong and @emiliemc for everything you do for employees and the industry!
— Andrei Anisimov (@anisimov_andrei) October 10, 2020
In total, Coinbase has lost at least 60 employees—or around 5% of its workforce—since the political speech ban was announced.
In his turn, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently argued that Coinbase’s new policy may be contradicting the free spirit of Bitcoin as it is “important to at least acknowledge and connect the related societal issues your customers face daily.”
#Bitcoin (aka “crypto”) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society. Important to at *least* acknowledge and connect the related societal issues your customers face daily. This leaves people behind: https://t.co/0LMlF1qcmG
— jack (@jack) September 30, 2020
Because Twitter is all about free speech without censorship, right?