According to insiders, Bitmain is preparing to announce a new CEO who will take over from Wu Jihan and Zhan Ketuan, the co-founders of the company. Bitmain Technology happens to be the largest maker of crypto mining rigs all over the world.
Wang Haichao is the potential successor, and at the moment he’s the company’s product engineering director. Anonymous tips reveal that Wang has already begun the duties of CEO, having taken over from the two co-founders in a transition period.
One of the insiders said that no timetable exists yet regarding when Wang will completely take over the company, as the company’s founders remain its co-chairs.
After the local media released the news of Bitmain’s leadership change two weeks ago, all efforts to get a comment from the company has proved abortive. Also, no comment has been obtained from Wang.
An insider said that Wu and Zhan will still have the final say when big decisions are to be made even though they will step aside from the day-to-day operations of the company once Wang takes over. Even as co-CEOs, it has been reported in the past that the pair has not always been on the same page regarding certain issues.
Bitmain Currently Not At Full Strength
Wang is a graduate of Beijing Tsinghua University; an institution referred to as China’s MIT. Before he joined Bitmain, he worked as a software programmer and product manager for Availink, a semiconductor design house based in Beijing from 2010 to 2017, as made known by Chinese media.
Bitmain is currently going through hard times because of the bear trend which has prevailed in the crypto economy. Bitmain accounts for about 75% of all mining computers all over the world. Bitcoin suffered a major setback in 2018 which saw to the loss of over 70% of its value. When all the cryptocurrencies are considered, over 2000 of them, the amount of value loss recorded is nearly $500 billion.
Job Losses Loom in Bitmain
Bitmain applied for a public listing in Hong Kong last September, after smaller Chinese competitors Ebang International and Canaan Creative did the same. But according to insiders, the stock exchange operator and the market regulator in Hong Kong are not willing to give approval to businesses that are crypto-based due to the absence of adequate regulation in the industry.
Bitmain expressed its plans for layoffs sometime last month, though there was no mention of the size of the layoffs.
According to the IPO prospectus of Bitmain, the full-time employees of Bitmain were 2,594 at the end of June, and its engineers numbered 840. Right now, the number of full-time employees has swelled to 3,000, and about one-third of them will be laid off, revealed an insider.
Wu, Zhan, and Bitmain
Bitmain was founded in 2013 by Wu and Zhan who hold shares of 21% and 37% of the company respectively, as the IPO prospectus shows. The co-founders have the voting rights of 10-1 over ordinary shareholders, under a dual-class share structure.
Wu graduated from Peking University where he studied economics and psychology and quickly became a twitter personality, with 115,000 followers, after he verbally attacked trolls who made a mockery of his opinion on Bitcoin development. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of Bitcoin Cash.
Zhan is also known as Micree. The 39-year-old graduated from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and is known as Bitmain’s technical mastermind.